Coronavirus India Updates: Covid-19 Cases In India At 23,452; Death Toll At 723
India recorded its biggest one-day addition of new Covid-19 infections as cases in the country crossed the 23,000-mark with over a week left before the nationwide lockdown is lifted.
The country added 1,752 new cases over the last 24 hours taking the total tally to 23,452, according to the health ministry's 5 p.m. update. This includes 4,814 who've recovered and 723 deaths.
Over the last 24 hours, 489 people have recovered while 37 have died.
U.S. infections rose at the slowest pace in three weeks, and China reported no deaths for a ninth straight day. Spain reported the greatest number of new cases and fatalities in almost a week, while Italy saw recoveries overtake new infections for the first time.
Total confirmed cases across the world exceeded 2.7 million while the death toll crossed 1,90,000, according to John Hopkins data.
Track latest news updates and developments on how the coronavirus situation is evolving in India here
India Adds 1,752 New Cases
India added 1,752 new cases in the last 24 hours—it's biggest one day addition—taking the total tally to 23,452 cases.
- Active cases: 17,915
- Cured/discharged/migrated: 4,814
- Deaths: 723
Source: Health Ministry (As of April 24, 5 p.m.)
India's Doubling Rate Has Come Down: National Centre for Disease Control
The National Centre for Disease Control has said that the nationwide lockdown has helped in breaking the chain of community transmission in the country.
In the first week of the lockdown (March 24-30) the doubling rate was 5.2 days with total cases at 1,251, Sujeet Kumar, director at NCDC said in a press briefing. This rose slightly to 4.2 days in the second week.
By the third week (April 7-13) the doubling rate was 6 days with cases at 10,363 Kumar said. Between April 14-20 the doubling rate was 8.6 days.
Gujarat Starts Using Rapid Testing Kits For Covid-19 Surveillance
The Gujarat government has started using the rapid antibody testing kits for Covid-19 surveillance in the state, despite the apprehensions expressed in some quarters in the country over the use of these kits.
The state health department said that the rapid testing kits will be used only for the purpose of surveillance and not to determine if someone is Covid-19 positive or not.
Earlier, the Indian Council of Medical Research had asked all the states to put on hold the use of rapid testing kits for some time after inconsistencies were found in the test results. It had later said that these kits could be used for surveillance.
"Gujarat has received 24,000 rapid testing kits four days back," Principal Secretary, Health, Jayanti Ravi, said.
"Before starting its use, we calibrated these kits to avoid any issues afterwards. We even imparted training to the staff on how to conduct tests. When our experts found that there was still an issue of calibration, we addressed it," Ravi told reporters in Gandhinagar.
"Then the ICMR also informed us to put on hold the tests using these kits. We used that time for imparting training to our staff even at taluka level. Now, we have started rapid testing in 30 (out of 33) districts. This test is for only surveillance. It will give us an idea about the presence of suspected cases in a particular area," she said.
"Antibody tests are not final and conclusive. If we find any positive case using rapid testing, we will confirm it by doing the RT-PCR test, which is considered as final. These RTPCR tests are carried out in 16 government laboratories across the state," she added.
Man Commits Suicide After Being Quarantined In MP
A 30-year-old farm labourer who was quarantined at a school in Madhya Pradesh's Sidhi district, allegedly committed suicide, police said on Friday.
The man, who belongs to the Baiga tribe, was found hanging from a tree near the quarantine facility at Dubri Kala village, some 80 km from the district headquarters, on Thursday, superintendent of police RS Bevanshi said.
As per preliminary investigation, the man did not wish to be kept in isolation and wanted to be with his children.
The deceased, along with 21 other farm labourers, had returned to the village after harvest from neighbouring Sagar district amid the Covid-19 lockdown on Wednesday, the official said.
On their return, the farm workers were taken to a quarantine facility at a school in the village, he said.
The deceased had stepped out of the facility after informing the guard that he wished to relieve himself, but failed to return and was found hanging from a tree by some villagers on Thursday, the SP said.
Meanwhile, an initial compensation of Rs 10,000 has been given to the man's family, collector Ravindra Kumar Chaudhary said.
Covid-19's Biggest Lesson Is To Become Self-Reliant: PM Modi
The biggest lesson the Covid-19 pandemic has taught India is to become self-reliant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said while interacting with gram panchayat members.
He complimented them for describing social distancing in simple words 'Do Gaz Ki Doori' (maintaining distance of two yards) so that people can understand it easily.
"The biggest lesson Covid-19 has taught us is to become self-reliant," Modi said, underlining that it is now imperative that villages also become self-reliant for their basic needs.
Modi said the coronavirus pandemic has thrown up new challenges which the country never faced before, but it also made people learn new things.
Applauding people for observing lockdown rules, the prime minister said it is because of them, the entire world today is talking about how India has responded to Covid-19 crisis.
Despite limited resources amid the coronavirus crisis, citizens are taking on this challenge instead of succumbing to difficulties, he said.