New Delhi: The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country has now gone up to 4,281. Of these, 1,445 are related to the Tablighi Jamaat meeting at Nizamuddin in New Delhi.
Global death toll crosses 70,000
As part of a massive effort undertaken by the Union Home Ministry and the states, more than 25,500 local Tablighi Jamaat workers and their contacts have been quarantined; besides, five villages in Haryana where the foreign national Tablighi Jamaat workers stayed have been sealed and the workers have been quarantined. Out of 2,083 foreign TJ workers identified so far, 1,750 people have been blacklisted so far.
A total of 109 people have died of the COVID-2019 infection in the country; in the last 24 hours, 693 new cases and 30 deaths have been reported, while a total of 291 people have recovered so far. This was informed by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Luv Aggarwal, at the daily media briefing on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on COVID-19, held at National Media Centre, PIB New Delhi on Monday 6 April.
As per the presently available data, an analysis of total confirmed cases has presented the following distribution:
76% are male
24% are female
47% people – below 40 years age group
34% people – between 40 to 60 years age group
19% people – 60 and above age group
Eighty-six per cent death cases have exhibited co-morbidity related to diabetes, chronic kidney issues, hypertension and heart related problems. Although 19% confirmed cases have been reported among the elderly, since 63% deaths have been observed among them, elderly people form a high risk population. Further, though 37% deaths are reported from people below 60 years, approximately, 86% of deaths amongst people with co-morbidities indicate that young people with co-morbidities are also at high risk of COVID-19.
Importance of medical oxygen
The Union Home Secretary has written to states to reiterate the critical importance of medical oxygen, which has been classified as an essential item and the production and supply of which has been exempted from lockdown restrictions. In his letter, the Secretary has provided the states some guidelines to facilitate the smooth functioning of the supply chain and ensure adequate supply of medical oxygen.
As a part of Government’s continued efforts to contain spread of COVID 19, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided not to operate Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) for two years (2020-21 and 2021-22). These funds will be used to strengthen Government’s efforts in managing the challenges and adverse impact of COVID19 in the country.
Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued detailed Guidelines for setting up of quarantine facilities for COVID-19 outbreak. This Guidelines focus on separating suspected and high-risk contacts as early as possible from among other quarantined persons. The Guidelines may be accessed at:
The Ministry has also issued Guidelines for Handling, Treatment, and Disposal of Waste Generated during Treatment/Diagnosis/ Quarantine of COVID-19 patients which are available at https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/63948609501585568987wastesguidelines.pdf.
Additionally, few informative videos for managing stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak are also posted on the website of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
National Health Mission (NHM) and State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF)
The States have already been advised to use funds under National Health Mission (NHM) and State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) to undertake all activities related with creation of quarantine centres, dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and other medical equipment, treatment of patients and all other activities related with management of COVID-19. In addition to this, NHM has already sanctioned Rs. 1100 Cr to all the States & Rs. 3000 Cr additional funds were released today. Also, N-95 masks, Ventilators and PPEs are being procured from the central pool and distributed to all the States across the country.
Orders have been placed for over 11.2 million stand alone N95 masks and 15.7 million PPE coveralls. Out of these, 8 million PPE kits will include N95 masks. The objective is to achieve a supply of about 1 million PPE kits per week.
200,000 domestically produced N95 masks are being dispatched to various hospitals across the country to tackle the COVID 19 menace. Over 2 million N95 masks have already been supplied for distribution to the users by Government of India. About 1.6 million N95 masks are presently available in the country, and this figure will increase with the fresh supply of 2 lakh masks.
Major portions of the fresh supplies are being sent to States with comparatively higher number of cases such as Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Rajasthan. Supplies are also being sent to central institutions like AIIMS, Safdarjung and RML hospitals, RIMS, NEIGRIHMS, BHU and AMU.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) coveralls from China
In a major development, supply lines from abroad opened up on Monday 6 April with the receipt of 1.70 lakh Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) coveralls from China which have been donated to the Government of India. Along with domestic supplies of 20,000 coveralls, a total of 190,000 coveralls will now be distributed to hospitals and will add to the 3,87,473 PPEs already available in the country. A total of 294,000 PPE coveralls have been arranged and supplied by Government of India.
An order for 8 million complete PPE kits (including N95 masks) had been placed on a Singapore based platform earlier and now it has been indicated that supplies will commence from 11 April, 2020 with 200,000, followed by 800,000 more in a week. Negotiations are in final stages with a Chinese platform for placing an order of 6 million complete PPE kits, which will also include N95 masks. Separate orders for N95 masks and protective goggles are also being placed on some foreign companies.
Northern Railways & Domestic Capabilities
Giving a further fillip to domestic capabilities, Northern Railways have developed a PPE coverall. This is in addition to the PPE coveralls and N99 masks developed by DRDO earlier. Efforts are now being made to start mass production of these products. Existing N95 mask producers have increased their capacity to about 80,000 masks per day.
Under Lifeline UDAN initiative of MoCA, 132 cargo flights have been operated till date across the country to transport medical cargo to various parts of India including remote and hilly areas. With support from Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private airlines, medical supplies of more than 184 tons have been delivered till date during lockdown period.
Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL)
“Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) will finance all expenses of the COVID-19 country’s second largest COVID-19 hospital in Bhubaneswar including cost of treatment of patients for which MCL has already released Rs 7.31 Crores as immediate advance. The hospital is a great medical asset for the people of Odisha,” said Union Minister of Coal and Mines Shri Pralhad Joshi during inauguration programme of hospital co-ordinated through Video Conferencing.
Department of Science & Technology
The Department of Science & Technology has funded ‘Module Innovations”, a Pune based healthcare startup working on point of care diagnostics to build up on its platform technology for rapid diagnosis of diseases to develop a product for detecting COVID 19 with a 10 to 15 minute test.
Using the proven concept from its flagship product USense, Module is now developing nCoVSENSEs (TM) which is a rapid test device for detection of antibodies that have been generated against the COVID 19 in the human body.
With the current stage that India is in, doing a mass screening is of extreme importance. With the rapid test device it will be possible to confirm infection in patients and also determine whether an infected patent has recovered and also identify the stage of infection in the patients.
The current confirmatory method of Real-TimeReverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) though a gold standard is costly, takes longer time and needs trained manpower. This new rapid test will help manage the problem in a more efficient way at a lesser cost.