India records lowest daily growth in COVID-19 cases

India records lowest daily growth rate in coronavirus cases since it crossed 100 cases

Passengers wearing face masks are seen on hand-pulled rickshaws during the ongoing nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, in Kolkata. (Credit: PTI Photo)

India on Saturday reported the lowest daily growth – 6 per cent – in COVID-19 cases since the confirmed infections crossed 100 in March, the government said.

In 24-hours ending at 8:00 am on Saturday, India had witnessed an increase of 1429 confirmed cases of COVID-19, taking the tally to 24,506. By evening the number of confirmed cases had increased to 24,942 with the death toll climbing to 779.

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Health Minister Harshvardhan chaired a meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 where officials said the death rate due to coronavirus is about 3.1  per cent of the total infections, while the recovery rate is over 20 per cent. As of Saturday, 5,210 persons recovered from the infections and discharged from hospitals.

The GoM also reviewed the testing strategy and availability of kits across the country along with the strategy for hotspots and cluster management. The Centre is yet to spell out its advisory on the rapid antibody tests for COVID-19, which were introduced with much fanfare, but were found to be faulty.

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) had asked state governments to stop using the rapid antibody tests pending field validation by its team of experts. The apex health research body was yet to come out with a fresh set of guidelines on continuing with the tests.

The GoM also reviewed the state-wise details of dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, along with the adequacy of isolation beds and wards, PPE kits, N95 masks, drugs, ventilators and oxygen cylinders, among others, an official statement said.

“As on date, more than one lakh PPE kits and N95 masks are being manufactured every day in the country. There are, at present, 104 domestic manufacturers of PPE and three of N95 masks in the country,” it said.

In addition, production of ventilators by domestic manufacturers has also started and orders have been placed for more than 59,000 units through nine manufacturers, it added.

The GoM also deliberated on the various tasks assigned to several empowered committees and it was informed that around 92,000 NGOs, self-help groups (SHGs) and civil society organisations are working and contributing by providing food to migrant workers across the country.

It was also informed that the national level meta-data of health workers, NSS, NYK, NCC, doctors etc. have been shared with all the states, districts and other officials to mobilise resources and volunteers to much-needed locations.