India Covid-19 tally breaches 70,000-mark, 3,604 cases in last 24 hours

India’s tally of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crossed the bleak 70,000-mark on Tuesday morning as more than 3,600 new infections were reported in the last 24 hours, Union health ministry data showed.

There were 46,008 active cases and 22,455 recoveries or migration along with 2293 fatalities across the country, according to the health ministry’s Covid-19 dashboard at 8am, which took the number of cases to 70,756 so far.

The dashboard showed 3,604 new cases and 87 fatalities were registered in the past day.

Most of the new cases came from Maharastra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Delhi. In Maharastra, there were 23,401 Covid-19 patients and 868 deaths. Gujarat has emerged as a cause of concern as the state reported 8,541 cases of Covid-19 and 513 people have died because of the respiratory disease.

Tamil Nadu has the third-highest number of cases at 8,002, followed by Delhi at 7,233, according to the Union health ministry.

The rising number of coronavirus disease cases was also highlighted during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with the chief ministers of states and Union territories on Monday

PM Modi underlined that reducing the coronavirus disease’s transmission rate and resuming public activity gradually are the two challenges India faces.

He also suggested that the lockdown may not be lifted entirely and that states will have greater say in determining the extent of restrictions and relaxations after May 17, when the third phase will end.

In his fifth interaction with chief ministers on the pandemic, according to participants at the meeting, PM Modi said the new principle of life would be “jan se lekar jag tak” (from an individual to the whole of humanity).

The Union health ministry has laid out a comprehensive community surveillance strategy that experts have long said was crucial in managing the outbreak. It said in new guidelines released on Monday 200 people will be tested at health facilities in each of India’s 733 districts every week to check whether they have or have had Covid-19.

The guidelines have been sent to all districts, which will now need to select 10 health facilities – of these six need to be run by the state – where certain sets of people will be put to swab as well as blood tests.

The swab tests identify a concurrent infection while the blood tests can detect if a person has previously had the infection and is now fighting or has fought it off

“There is a need to establish systematic surveillance for Sars-CoV-2 infection in all districts of the country. This surveillance will be in addition to the routine testing as per current testing guidelines,” the document titled ‘District level facility based surveillance for Covid-19’ said.

The ministry did not specify when the protocol will be put into place.

More than four million people have contracted the coronavirus disease and 286,330 people have died across the world, according to the Covid-19 tracker of Johns Hopkins University.

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