Covid-19 cases in India climb to 13,387, death toll at 437
India reported 724 new Covid-19 cases and 23 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the Union health ministry on Friday morning.
The ministry's website showed at 8am that there were 11,201 active cases, 1748 people have been cured or discharged from hospitals and 427 Covid-19 related fatalities.
Maharashtra inched toward the 4000 mark with 3205 active cases, 300 people who have been cured or discharged and 194 deaths. Delhi has 1729 coronavirus infections, out of which 1640 are active cases, 51 cured and 38 deaths.
Tamil Nadu, which accounts for most 'red zones', has the third-highest number of cases at 1462. There are 1267 infected people in the southern state, which has also reported 15 Covid-19 deaths.
Government data shows the 170 districts across the country which have been identified as coronavirus disease hotspots are home to about 37% of India's population and Tamil Nadu has 22 of its 37 districts in the 'red zone'.
However, the Centre's conditional relaxations amid a nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus outbreak to focus on providing relief to the rural sector and daily wage labourers to kick-start sections of the economy from April 20 will not be applicable to these hotspot districts.
The hotspots, where nearly 453 million of India's 1.21 billion citizens live, account for about 23% of the over 730-odd districts and are spread across 29% of the geographical area of the country, an analysis based on Census 2011 data shows.
Ten of Delhi's 11 districts and 14 of Maharashtra's 36 districts feature in the list sent to the district authorities by Union health secretary Preeti Sudan.
Meanwhile, India has begun trials using the antibody-rich blood of patients cured of the coronavirus disease, with doctors turning to a pool of people who have recovered from the infection to test their antibodies as a potential cure for those fighting the disease.
Convalescent plasma therapy uses a blood component called plasma, which contains the virus-fighting antibodies, from people who have recovered from the infection to treat those who are severely ill with Covid-19.
Apart from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), at least two hospitals have applied to test the effectiveness of the therapy in Delhi, The protocols have been defined for these tests.
The Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, an autonomous Delhi government hospital, has already received approval to conduct the trials. The private Max Hospital is awaiting approval to launch the trials.
The coronavirus tracker of the Johns Hopkins University shows that Covid-19 cases across the world stand at 2,157,108 and there have been 144,047 deaths.
(Inputs from hindustantimes.com)
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