New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday said that the coronavirus cases across the country neared 30,000 and the death toll was seen inching towards 1,000-mark with Maharahstra, Gujarat and some other states reporting more fatalities. Also Read - Amid Lockdown, Russia to Consider Gradual End to Coronavirus Quarantines From May 12
At this crucial time, the hope for any immediate cure for the coronavirus was rejected after the Health Ministry said there is not enough evidence as yet to back plasma therapy as its treatment. Also Read - Coronavirus: CRPF Jawan Dies of COVID-19, 12 Others Test Positive in Delhi
Addressing a press conference, the Health Ministry cautioned that there could be life-threatening complications if proper guidelines are not followed while administering the plasma therapy. Also Read - Coronavirus: Karnataka Allows Opening of Shops in 'Green Zones', Malls to Remain Shut
The much-talked-about plasma therapy, currently in experimental stage, works on a principle that immunity can be transferred from a healthy person to a sick patient using antibodies in convalescent plasma.
The clarification from the Centre comes amid widespread hope that plasma therapy can be a possible treatment for COVID-19 after the Delhi government said it has seen encouraging results on some patients.
Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has launched a national-level study to check efficacy of the plasma therapy, but till this study is completed and a robust scientific proof is available, this therapy should be used only for research or trial purpose.
The ministry said that the COVID-19 death toll has risen to 937, after more than 50 deaths since Monday evening including in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir, while the number of cases has climbed to 29,974.
Issuing a statement, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said India will be self-reliant in producing RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) and antibody testing kits by May-end that will enable it to conduct one lakh tests a day.
State-wise speaking, Maharashtra has reported maximum cases at over 8,500 and at least 369 deaths. Gujarat has over 3,700 cases, while Delhi also has more than 3,100 confirmed cases. Each of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have reported more than 2,000 cases.
On Tuesday, 55-year-old Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel also died due to coronavirus infection. This is the first COVID-19 death reported in paramilitary forces.
Meanwhile, Delhi Lt Governor (LG) Anil Baijal directed all district magistrates to implement a micro-containment zone strategy under which small clusters reporting cases of the dreaded virus will be identified and declared containment zones instead of big ones.
Delhi On Tuesday witnessed the NITI Aayog building on Parliament Street getting sealed for 48 hours soon after a director-level officer tested positive for coronavirus.
Days after Bandra incident, hundreds of migrant workers came out on roads in Surat and vandalised the office of an under-construction building and some vehicles while demanding that they be sent back to their native places.
On the other hand, West Bengal saw attacks on some policemen trying to enforce lockdown in ‘red zone’ Howarah district. The state reported 28 new cases, taking its total to 663, while the number of fatalities rose to 22 with two new deaths.