Coronavirus India Updates: Total Cases At 18,985, Death Toll At 603
A team of doctors wearing protective suits check slum dwellers during a house-to-house health survey at Vallabh Nagar in Bhopal. (Source: PTI)

Coronavirus India Updates: Total Cases At 18,985, Death Toll At 603

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Confirmed Covid-19 cases in India climbed closer to the 19,000-mark on Tuesday evening with the death tally cross 600.

India reported 1,329 new cases over the last 24 hours taking the total to 18,985, according to health ministry data. This includes 3,260 recoveries and 603 deaths.

Over the last 24 hours, India witnessed 44 reported deaths and 418 recoveries.

Track latest news updates and developments on how the coronavirus situation is evolving in India here:

Global Update:

More signs emerged that the coronavirus outbreak is slowing in hard-hit areas, with the U.S., Italy and U.K. showing smaller gains in new cases. China reported its sixth straight day without a fatality.

Globally, total cases topped 2.4 million and deaths exceeded 170,000, according to John Hopkins data.

Maharashtra Withdraws Lockdown Relaxation In Mumbai, Pune

The Maharashtra government has withdrawn relaxations to lockdown in Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Pune Metropolitan Region.

This has been done as a large number of people had started commuting due to the relaxations that were issued on April 17, the government said in a statement.

The relaxations will stay in other parts of the state.

Highlights From Order:

  • E-commerce companies: Vehicles used by e-commerce operators will be allowed to ply with necessary permissions. E-commerce delivery of essential commodities, food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipments will be permitted.
  • Print media is exempted from the lockdown from April 20, 2020.
  • Door to door delivery of newspapers and magazines is prohibited in Mumbai and Pune, and in all containment zones as may be decided by the District Magistrates.
  • In these areas they may be sold through establishments that are exempted under the order dated April 17.

India Adds 1,329 New Cases In 24 Hours

India added 1,329 cases over the last 24 hours taking the total number of cases to 18,985.

  • Active cases: 15,122
  • Cured/discharged/migrated: 3,260
  • Deaths: 603

Source: Health Ministry (As of April 21, 5 p.m.)

Health Ministry Briefing

  • A total of 3,252 patients have recovered so far.
  • Yesterday 705 patients recovered and it takes out recovery percentage to 17.48 percent.
  • 1,336 new cases have been reported yesterday, this takes the total toll to 18601
  • Health ministry has asked hospitals to assign Hospital Infection Control Committee in non-covid hospitals to monitor and ensure health workers follow infection, prevention and control guidelines, identify positive cases and update it to the local health authorities.

ICMR Asks States To Not Use Rapid Test Kits For Two Days

The ICMR has tested 4,49,810 samples so far, said RR Gangakhedkar, Chief Epidemiologist, of which 35,852 samples were tested yesterday. 29,776 samples were tested by 201 ICMR labs, and 6,076 samples were tested in 86 private labs, he added in today’s press conference.

On Rapid Test Kits Complain

  • One of the states complained about lower detection. We also reached to three other states if they are facing any issues. Based on that, we have realised that there is a lot of variation in positive samples.
  • We are advising states to not use rapid tests kits of two days. ICMR teams to investigate rapid tests kits at field level.
  • We ask states to not use rapid tests kits for two days.

Need To Exercise Caution While Using Disinfectants Directly On Human Skin: AMAI

Alkali Manufacturers Association of India on Tuesday stressed on the need to exercise caution while using disinfection chemicals directly on human beings as it could be harmful.

AMAI is the representative body of the entire the alkali industry in India that produces chemicals like sodium hypochlorite, chlorine, bleaching solution/powder, used for disinfection.

The industry body said that there have been recent reports in the media on chemicals like sodium hypochlorite solution and hydrogen peroxide being used for disinfection on human beings to control the spread of coronavirus disease.

"Sodium hypochlorite is a strong disinfectant to be used in recommended dilution to disinfect surfaces and objects that are contaminated or infected. Contact with skin can cause itching and irritation leading to skin problems," AMAI said in a statement.

Similarly, hydrogen peroxide is a strong bleaching agent and its use should be restricted to objects and surfaces, the association said.

"The use of these chemicals on the face is even more harmful with chances of ingress into eyes, nostrils and mouth, causing health issues," AMAI said.

The industry body said that there are also instances of special chambers being erected that spray a mist of disinfectant chemicals on people passing or walking through them.

"We are liaising with the government and civic bodies for safe usage of these disinfectants”, said Jayantibhai Patel, President, AMAI.

During these challenging times, AMAI said that its members have stepped up their efforts to maintain adequate supply of disinfection chemicals to supplement the efforts of the government in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

"However, chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite, chlorine, hydrogen peroxide and bleach solutions should be handled with utmost care, avoiding skin contact. In case of contact with skin, the exposed part should be thoroughly washed with a running stream of water," IMAI said.

It recommended that alcohol-based sanitisers should be used to clean hands. Any other part of the body should be cleaned using ordinary soap and water only.

"WHO recommends use of disinfection chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite, chlorine, bleach solution (in recommended dilution) for disinfecting surfaces and objects," AMAI said.

To maintain personal hygiene, WHO also recommends frequent washing of hands with soap and water, it added.

Source: PTI

Here’s the Health Ministry’s advisory against the use of disinfectants on humans.

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