From Our Bureau                       

28th APRIL 2020

A total of 29,435 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country so far and the death toll mounted to 937 on Tuesday.  As many as 6,868 persons have been cured with a recovery rate of 23.3 per cent, according to the latest update from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Through a graded, pro-active and pre-emptive response strategy, Government of India is taking several steps along with the States/ Union Territories for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19. These decisions and steps are being regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, today reviewed the research work conducted by the Directors / Heads of Department of Bio-Technology and its 18 Autonomous Bodies and PSUs through Video Conference. He has directed to expedite the development of antibody detection kits, real-time PCR based detection kits and vaccines for COVID-19 under ‘Make in India’.

The Union Health Minister also reviewed the current status of COVID-19 surveillance in Delhi along with Anil Baijal, LG of Delhi, Satyendar Jain, Health Minister of Delhi, MCD Commissioners, DMs and DCPs of all districts of Delhi, Central / State and District surveillance officers and Heads of Government Hospitals via Video Conferencing.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued guidelines on home isolation for very mild/ pre-symptomatic patients. Patients who have a requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation will have the option for home isolation. These guidelines are in addition to guidelines on appropriate management of suspect/confirmed case of COVID-19 issued by MoHFW on 7th April 2020.

Regarding plasma therapy for COVID-19, ICMR has already stated clearly that currently there are no approved therapies for COVID-19 including plasma therapy. It is one of the many therapies which are being experimented with. However, so far there is no evidence to support it as a treatment. ICMR has also started a National Study to evaluate the efficacy of the therapy.

It needs to be clarified that until ICMR concludes its study and robust scientific proof is available, it should not be used except for research and trial purposes. In fact, use of plasma therapy may have life threatening complications. ICMR has already issued detailed guidelines in this regard for the use of plasma therapy outside the study purposes.

As of today, there are 17 districts in the country where earlier cases had come, but now no new case has been reported for the last 28 days. The number of these districts has increased by 1 (two new districts have been added whereas one has been dropped from the previous list) since yesterday. The districts that got added to the list are Kalimpong (West Bengal) & Wayanad (Kerala). The district which was removed from this list is Lakhisarai (Bihar). (eom)

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