Total corona cases in India reach 606, govt raises testing capacity


New Delhi, March 25, 2020 (IANS):

There are at least 606 confirmed coronavirus cases in India as of Wednesday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Ministry said. Of this, 553 are active cases, 42 patients have recovered and been discharged from the hospital and 10 people have lost their lives.

The active cases include 563 Indian nationals and 43 foreign nationals.

Addressing a press conference, Joint Secretary, Health, Lav Agarwal said: "There are 29 private laboratory chains, accredited by the Indian Council of Medical Research for conducting tests for novel Coronavirus.

"These labs have 16,000 collection centres across the country, where at least 12,000 tests can be conducted per day."

Agarwal also said that the private labs will have to follow ICMR norms while testing for COVID-19.

Besides private labs, there are 119 government laboratories approved by the ICMR, of which 104 are operational for testing Covid-19 and 15 are in the process of being functional according to ICMR data.

On the situation of protective gear, Agarwal said: "PPEs and masks have certain imported materials. We are trying the best sothat the gap is filled as soon as possible…"

He also clarified on one death that was reported in Delhi on Tuesday, saying "the sample of the deceased was under testing and later was found to be negative".

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, at a digital press conference, said that five new cases of coronavirus infection had been reported in the city in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 35.

Tamil Nadu also reported five new novel coronavirus positive cases on Wednesday, taking the total number of such patients in the southern state to 23. With three new positive cases of coronavirus in Gujarat, the total count of COVID-19 patients in the state has surged to 38. Five more COVID-19 positive cases were detected overnight in Maharashtra taking the total to 116. Madhya Pradesh also reported five new cases taking the total number upto 14. Casualties, so far, have been reported from Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, and West Bengal.