Millennium Post

India crosses 6,000-mark; 804 cases, 17 deaths in 24 hours

New Delhi: India's total tally crossed the 6,000-mark on Thursday with an increase of 804 new cases and 17 deaths in the last 24 hours.

The total COVID-19 cases mounted at 6,078 with Maharashtra reporting 1,297 confirmed cases followed by Tamil Nadu (738) and Delhi (720). Uttar Pradesh recorded a total of 410 cases of Corona. As per the Health ministry, until now 478 have recovered, while 169 have died. On Wednesday, there were 5,274 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

On the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), however, the Union Health ministry reiterated that there is no shortage of PPEs in the country and asked people not to believe any rumour or have any fear regarding the availability of the kits.

Commenting on the PPE availability, Joint Secretary (Health) Lav Agarwal said: "Our guidelines state that not only PPEs should be made available, but they should be used rationally. The government has roped in 20 domestic companies for PPE manufacturing in the country and orders for 1.7 crore have already been placed."

"It (PPE) should be used as per requirement and as I have told you, I can use four N95 masks within a day, or I can use just one within a day. While the Centre is augmenting supplies to the states, we are also requesting them to use them rationally," he said, adding that orders for 49,000 ventilators have been placed and their supply is underway.

Hailing Railways Ministry's role, the Health ministry official said: "The Railways has also deployed above 2,500 doctors and 35,000 paramedics staff for the COVID-19 management. Also, the Indian Railways has produced about 6 lakh reusable face masks and over 4,000 litres of hand sanitiser."

"The national transporter has prepared 80,000 beds by modifying 3,250 coaches into COVID-19 isolation units. The Railways has set a target to convert total 5,000 coaches into isolation wards," Agarwal said.

According to an ICMR official, 1,30,000 samples have been tested for Coronavirus so far in the country out of which 5,734 have tested positive. "If we see the positivity rate, it ranges between 3 and 5 per cent in the last one-and-half-months and it has not increased substantially," the ICMR official said.

The ICMR official further added that India is in the final stages of finalising the protocol for conducting a clinical trial on convalescent plasma therapy and it will also have to take approval from the DCG before conducting the trial.

A 62-year-old doctor, who had tested positive for COVID-19, died in Indore on Thursday, as authorities in many parts of the country put medical professionals under quarantine after they tested positive for the virus and in some cases as a preventive measure given their vulnerability to catch the fast-spreading infection.

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