New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday said the nationwide tally of confirmed coronavirus cases neared 19,000 after new cases were reported from various states and the death toll crossed 600. Also Read - Lockdown 2.0: After Ghaziabad Chaos, Delhi-Noida Border Completely Sealed Until Further Notice

The Health Ministry, however, said that the recovery rate has improved to 17.5 per cent and a record number of 705 patients were cured and discharged on Monday itself. Also Read - SEBI Announces Temporary Relaxations For Rights Issue Amid Coronavirus Crisis

As per latest updates, the death toll has gone up to 603 and the number of positive cases has gone up to 18,985 across the country. Also Read - Kerala Reports 19 New Coronavirus Cases, What Happened to the Flattening Curve?

Addressing a press conference, the Health Ministry officials said that more than 3,800 people have been cured and discharged, while there are more than 15,000 active cases in the country.

On Tuesday, new cases were reported from various states including Odisha and Kerala — where the infection spread has been relatively slower.

In the meantime, Arvind Kejriwal said that there are 1,603 active cases of COVID-19 in Delhi, and 47 people have died of coronavirus so far.

ICMR’s Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar said that states have been advised not to use the rapid test kits for two days and a fresh advisory would be issued after field validation by its team.

On Tuesday, the Union Health Ministry sought a complete ban on the export of anti-tuberculosis drugs over concerns that the lockdown due to COVID-19 has affected the production of such medicines.

Expressing concern, the Health Ministry said that the delay in production and receipt of supply may cause acute shortage of these drugs.

Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan requested government officials to direct the department of pharmaceuticals under the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers and commerce ministry for issuing necessary directions for prohibiting export of anti-TB medicines.