As India battles COVID-19, corona cases mount to 28,380 with 1,463 new cases

New Delhi [India], April 27 (ANI): As India battles COVID-19, the corona cases on Monday soared to 28,380 with 1,463 new cases and 60 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, as per the data shared by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday evening.

The total coronavirus cases in India are inclusive of 6,361 cured and discharged patients, one migrated and 886 deaths. At present, there are 21,132 active COVID-19 cases in the country.

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry, here on Monday said that 16 districts in the country, which earlier had cases, have not reported any fresh case for the last 28 days.

The three new districts, which got added to this list are -- Gondia in Maharashtra, Devangere in Karnataka and Lakhisarai in Bihar. Apart from that, 85 districts in States and Union Territories have not reported any new cases in the last 14 days, he said.

Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has advised the State governments to go for the RT-PCR test, which "detects the virus early and is the best strategy to identify and isolate the individual."

The advisory with the subject line -- 'Advisory on Rapid Antibody Blood Tests Regarding' -- states: "ICMR advocates that RT-PCR throat/nasal swab test is the best use for diagnosis of COVID-19. RT-PCR test detects the virus early and is the best strategy to identify and isolate the individual."

"Several states have procured rapid antibody test kits and on their demand, the ICMR has also provided these kits with clear instructions that they are to be used only for surveillance purpose. Some States have raised issues regarding their performance during the testing exercise that they have undertaken."

The States have also been advised by the ICMR to stop using these kits procured from the two companies -- Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics -- and return them to be sent back to the suppliers.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday also asserted that not a single rupee was lost on rapid antibody test procurement.

"After the receipt of some supplies, the ICMR has again conducted quality checks on these kits in field conditions. Based on the scientific assessment of their performance, the order in question (Wondfo) along with the order in respect of another make found under-performing have been cancelled.

It needs to be stressed that ICMR has not made any payment whatsoever in respect of these supplies. Because of the due process followed (not going for procurement with 100 per cent advance amount), the Government of India does not stand to lose a single rupee," said a press release from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Lockdown has yielded positive results as the country has managed to save thousands of lives in the past one and a half months, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday while interacting with Chief Ministers via video conference on the prevailing COVID-19 situation.

"Lockdown has yielded positive results as the country has managed to save thousands of lives in the past one and a half months. India's population is comparable to that of the combined population of several countries. The situation in many countries, including India, was almost similar at the start of March.

He, however, he warned that the danger of the virus is far from over and constant vigilance is of paramount importance.

During the video conference, various Chief Ministers put forth their views and suggestions to contain the coronavirus and mitigate the resultant woes.

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy sought an economic package, saying that majority of the Chief Ministers wanted the continuation of the lockdown after May 3 due to the rise in coronavirus cases in the country.

"Most of the Chief Ministers told the Prime Minister that the lockdown should continue and that some economic activity should be started slowly," he said.

"These Chief Ministers were of the view that the way in which cases are increasing, there should be a cautious approach and the Prime Minister should take a call on the basis of their observation. Even most of the BJP-ruled states' CMs said that lockdown should be continued and economic activities should be started slowly," said Narayanasamy.

In a significant move, Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde on Monday said that the apex court has given proper directions to the Centre to provide food, shelter, psychological counselling and other basic necessities to the needy people during the lockdown.

"We have given proper directions to the Central government to provide food, shelter, psychological counselling and other basic necessities to the needy people during this COVID-19 lockdown," CJI Bobde told reporters here. He said that the judiciary is doing whatever it can at this time of crisis.

Here's a quick read on the COVID-19 related updates:

1. The volunteers wearing COVID-19 themed helmets appealed to residents of Dwarka in New Delhi to stay at home, as part of an awareness drive about coronavirus threat initiated by the Delhi Police.As part of the initiative, masks were also distributed. People told about the COVID-19 situation and requested them to ensure that they stay indoors, maintain social distancing, and take other precautionary measures while stepping out.

2. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said Sub-Inspector Harjeet Singh, whose hand was chopped off by Nihangs in Patiala on April 12 while reinforcing the lockdown guidelines, is 'recovering well.'

"It has been two weeks since SI Harjeet Singh's hand was operated upon in PGI. I am extremely happy to share that he is recovering well & that his hand has started to regain movement," tweeted Chief Minister Singh.

3. The wildlife authorities of Jammu and Kashmir issued an advisory on Monday asking the people to not visit forest areas, especially the surroundings of the Dachigam National Park due to the threat posed by COVID-19. The advisory was issued after a tiger tested positive for COVID-19 in New York.

4. A 5-member Central team led by Arun Baroka, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, visited the containment zone at Masab Tank in Hyderabad to review the measures being taken to contain the spread of coronavirus.

"The Central team visited the containment zone at Masab Tank to review measures to control the spread of coronavirus," an official said. He also said that the state authorities provided them with details of coronavirus prevention activities in the city.

5. Rising to the occasion, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor Kishori Pednekar has decided to return to her old calling -- nursing -- to contribute in the fight against COVID-19. Pednekar was a nurse before coming to politics and has decided to join the team of BMC's BYL Nair Hospital to aid the COVID-19 patients in their fight against the virus.

6. Minister of State for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh on Monday said that five out of the eight states in the North-East are corona-free now. He said that these five states are -- Sikkim, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Tripura.

"Three States in the region -- Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram -- are not corona-free but there have been no new positive cases in these states in the recent past," Singh said.

7. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the impact of coronavirus will remain visible in the coming months and masks and face covers will be part of life while asserting that the country needs to give importance to the economy as well as continue the fight against COVID -19.

He made these remarks during his interaction with the Chief Ministers via video conferencing to discuss the emerging situation and plans ahead for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

8. Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij has appealed to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to make staying arrangements for Haryana residents, who are employed in the national capital, stating that their daily movement increases the risk of COVID-19 spread.

He appealed to the Delhi government not to issue passes to such workers and make arrangements for their stay in the national capital. The Minister said that many who work in Delhi and stay in Haryana are "corona-carriers."

9. The mortality rate in Maharashtra due to coronavirus is 4.24 per cent, said the State Health Department on Monday. With 440 new COVID-19 cases, the total number of cases in Maharashtra has mounted to 8,068. The total number of deaths has reached 342 after 19 new deaths were reported.

10. Andaman and Nicobar Chief Secretary Chetan Sanghi on Monday said that over 7,100 coronavirus tests per million population are being conducted in the Union Territory.

Taking to Twitter, Sanghi said that the Andaman and Nicobar is chasing COVID-19. "With over 7100 tests per million population, Andamans is chasing the Virus, and not the other way around #AndamanFightsCOVID19 #StayAtHomeAndStaySafe," tweeted Sanghi. (ANI)