NEW DELHI: The total novel coronavirus cases in India are now at 19,984. Within the last 24 hours, around 1,383 individuals were found to be COVID-19 positive and even 50 deaths were recorded in the same time period. The death toll is now at 640.
It was on April 14, that India crossed over 10,000 cases. As per the current data by the Union Health Ministry, there are 15,474 active cases in the nation. Approximately 3,869 have also been discharged after making a full recovery.
Maharashtra is still the worst-hit state and over 6000 cases got detected in the region within the last day. However, 722 beings also were discharged and 251 deaths occurred. Gujarat has now taken the spot of the second most virus affected state where 2,178 cases currently exist. Delhi is now in third place with 2,156 cases.
The ICMR or Indian Council of Medical Research has asked to suspend the procedure of rapid resting for the virus for the coming two days. This was initiated as there were several complaints from areas like West Bengal and Rajasthan who claimed that the antibody test kits are revealing invalid results.
Dr Raman Gangakhedkar, one of the top scientists fro ICMR has said that around 8 institutes of ICMR will now conduct field tests using rapid testing kits in various states for the purpose of validation in the next two days. It would also be done to determine if some batches of the kit are damaged. After this, the feedback will be given to the public and other states.
Dr Gangakhedkar in a daily briefing said, "We received a complaint from one state yesterday that rapid kits were leading to lesser detections, so we took feedback from three states today. We are learning that the positive samples of RT-PCR are showing too much variation (when tested by rapid kits) in the range of 6 to 71%." He was referring to the percentage of successful detection for positive cases through rapid testing kits.
As per some ICMR experts, the testing kits were tested first in Delhi. It was after that, that the kits were sent out to other states and by now have shown 71% accuracy. It was also said that this percentage will increase with time as it takes a week for COVID-19 antibodies to build.