Coronavirus India Updates: Total Cases At 20,471, Death Toll At 652
A police officer gives a man bananas as he boards a bus on the banks of Yamuna River while being transferred to a shelter during a lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Coronavirus India Updates: Total Cases At 20,471, Death Toll At 652

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The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India crossed 20,000 on a day where it also saw a high number of recoveries.

India reported 1,486 new cases over the last 24 hours taking the total in the country to 20,471, according to the health ministry's update at 5 p.m. This includes 3,960 who've recovered and 652 deaths.

Over the last 24 hours, 700 people have recovered while 49 have died.

While it took 76 days for India to report its first 10,000 cases, the next 10,000 have come in just 7 more days.

Global Update:

Globally, total cases topped 2.5 million and deaths exceeded 175,000, according to John Hopkins data.

The U.S. saw its biggest daily tally of new coronavirus infections in almost two weeks while Singapore, once a standard bearer for taming the virus, reported more than 1,000 cases for a second day.

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

India Adds 1,486 New Cases

India added 1,486 new cases in teh last 24 hours taking the total to 20,471.

  • Active cases: 15,859
  • Cured/discharged/migrated: 3,960
  • Deaths: 652

Source: Health Ministry (April 22, 5 p.m.)

New Protocol For Rapid Antibody Tests: Health Ministry

The Indian Council of Medical Research has sent a new protocol for using rapid antibody tests to all states, the health ministry said in a media statement today.

The ministry said rapid tests are largely to be used as a surveillance tool. The rapid antibody test results are dependent on field conditions, it said.

Antibody tests cannot replace the RT-PCR tests to diagnose Covid-19 cases, it said.

Other highlights:

  • ICMR to help states in the collection of data to assess the scope and extent of the utility of the rapid antibody test in field conditions.
  • The Government of India will conduct a telephonic survey where citizens will be contacted through their mobile phone from the number 1921, through NIC.
  • Ministry requests all citizens to participate to help get proper feedback on the prevalence and distribution of Covid-19 symptoms.

Coronavirus Cases Cross 800 Mark In Andhra Pradesh, 56 More Test Positive

Covid-19 cases crossed the 800-mark in Andhra Pradesh, reaching 813 as 56 new cases were added in the state in the last 24 hours ending Wednesday morning.

The coronavirus toll also rose to 24 while as many patients had recovered and been discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, a latest Covid-19 bulletin said.

It said 5,757 samples were tested during the period, of which 5,701 turned negative.

Kurnool and Guntur districts continued to maintain a worrisome trend as they added 19 new cases each, aggregating 203 and 177 respectively, the top two in the state.

Though the bulletin did not give any details about the new patients, sources in the Covid-19 Command Control Centre here said they were the secondary contacts of the Tablighi Jamaat attendees.

Guntur district also reported two more deaths in the last 24 hours, taking its tally to eight, the highest in the state.

At the same time, eight coronavirus patients got cured and discharged from hospital in Guntur, five in Anantapuramu, four each in SPS Nellore and Kadapa, two in Krishna and one in Visakhapatnam.

The total number of patients discharged in the state now increased to 120.

AP now has 669 active coronavirus cases.

Sources: PTI

Punjab Industry Associations Voice Concerns On Opening Units Despite Government Go-Ahead

Notwithstanding the government go-ahead, some industry associations in Punjab on Wednesday said they would prefer not to open their factories on health concerns of their employees and asked the government to provide loans and cash credit limits to industries during this time of crisis.

Punjab Beopar Mandal general secretary Sunil Mehra said that state government had announced that the industries could restart from April 20 onwards. “But, conditions for the same are very strict,” he said.

Industries can take responsibilities like paying salaries, arranging transportation for labour, “but how can employers take responsibility of health of workers? The government itself should take responsibility of the health of the industrial workers,” he said.

DS Chawla, President, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association said the time is not right to open factories as there is a great risk of people getting infected with Covid-19.

Chawla said a meeting of Ludhiana industrialists was held here on Monday to discuss this issue. There was no enthusiasm amongst them to open their industrial units.

“We do not have much raw material and transport is also not functional. Industry is facing acute financial crunch. How can the industry run," he asked.

Punjab Beopar Mandal's Mehra further said that government must extend full support to trade and industry, if it really wants to extend any support otherwise the industrialists would find it better to stay at home instead of getting their units functional during the lockdown period.

Mehra said the efforts made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh have yielded results in checking the spread of coronavirus in the state. But regretted that the state power utility was issuing electricity bills during the lockdown period.

Rather, the government should provide loans and cash credit limits to industry and trade during this time of crisis, he said.

The Punjab government on Monday had said that the industrial activity can function in non-containment zone area in line with the guidelines of the ministry of Home Affairs.

Eleven different categories of industrial establishments have been allowed to operate with the condition that in case the industrial establishment employs 10 or more persons, it shall make arrangements for stay of workers within its premises as far as possible and/or adjacent buildings.

The transportation of workers to work place shall be arranged by the employers in dedicated transport by ensuring social distancing.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Industries minister Sunder Sham Arora said the industrial units which want to start operations subject to compliance of the guidelines issued by the department of Home affairs and Justice, Punjab can apply online on Industries and Commerce Department's site and start operations.

A dedicated web link has been created to facilitate the operationalization during curfew period, said Arora adding the concerned general managers of District Industries Centres have been authorized by respective Deputy Commissioners to issue the permissions.

The provision of permission for construction activities to be granted by the District Industries Centre, wherever authorized by Deputy Commissioners is also available through this portal.

The provision of SMS alert to investor at the time of submission and approval of application has also been made in the above portal, he said in an official release here.

Source: PTI

The government has notified reporters that the daily press briefing - hosted by the Health Ministry and the ICMR - will not take place today.

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