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India's Covid-19 cases inch closer to 30,000-mark, death toll at 937


New Delhi, (UNI)

India has so far reported as many as 29,435 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases while death toll mounted to 937, with new 48 fatalities in the past 12 hours.
The mortality rate is currently 23.3 per cent due to the highly contagious pathogen. 

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said the country will be able to produce RT-PCR and antibody test kits by May.  "All processes are in an advanced stage and production will start after getting approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)," he said, adding that it would help the country in meeting the target of 1 lakh tests per day by May 31. 

The Health Minister, who held a meeting with autonomous institutes under Department of Biotechnology via video conference, further said that no fresh case has been reported in 80 districts since past seven days. In 47 districts, no case had been reported in the past 14 days, while 39 districts had not reported a case since the past 21 days.  In 17 districts not a single case had been reported in the past 28 days, he added. Maharashtra continues to be a top spot among the maximum number of coronavirus cases in the country. The state has so far witnessed 369 fatalities. The second worst-hit state -- Gujarat, has now 3,548 cases. So far 162 people have lost their lives in the desert state. 

National capital Delhi which is on the third spot in the number of cases is doing well to contain the pandemic. The city has maintained one of the best recovery rates in the country with 877 patients cured and discharged from the hospital till date. The first casualty reported due to COVID-19 pandemic among the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) following the death of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel who was admitted to Delhi's Safdarjung hospital.
The 55-year-old sub-inspector (SI) rank official from Barpeta in Assam, was admitted to the Safdarjung hospital a few days back after being detected positive for the virus. “He died on Tuesday due to COVID-19 infection. He was posted with the 31st battalion of the force based in Delhi,” a senior CRPF official said.
An employee working at NITI Aayog was detected positive with COVID-19 on Tuesday and the entire building has been sealed, the government's policy think tank said in a tweet. 

A woman anchor of a Noida-based Hindi news channel Total TV has tested positive for novel coronavirus. The anchor got herself tested for at a private hospital and after test results came, she was admitted to Rajiv Gandhi hospital for treatment, sources said. Covid-19 positive cases in Tripura, Pudducherry, Mizoram, Manipur, Goa and Arunachal Pradesh are still in single digit. Stating that China not only sincerely supports India in its fight against Covid-19 but is also taking concrete actions to help it, Chinese Embassy in India on Tuesday expressed concern after the Chinese products were labelled as “faulty”. 

Recently Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had asked the states and union territories to stop using rapid antibody COVID-19 testing kits procured from China due to "wide variation" in their performance. India had procured around five lakh rapid antibody test kits from the two Chinese companies, Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Livzon Diagnostics, and they were distributed to several states reporting rising cases of the coronavirus infection. 


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