New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday said 1229 new COVID-19 cases and 34 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. Total number of cases rises to 21700, including 16689 active cases, 4325 cured & 686 deaths. Also Read - Coronavirus: Total Count Reaches 18601, No Fresh Case in 61 Districts in Past 14 Days, Says Health Ministry

Addressing a press conference, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said that there are 12 districts that did not have a fresh case in the last 28 days or more. He also said that there are now 78 districts in 23 states/UTs that have not reported any fresh case during the last 14 Days. Also Read - Maintain Social Distancing as 80% of COVID-19 Patients Asymptomatic: Health Ministry

Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry has clarified to states that in-house care-givers of senior citizens, prepaid mobile recharge utilities and food processing units in urban areas are exempted from lockdown restrictions. This was revealed by Ministry of Home Affairs Joint Secretary Punya Salila Srivastava. Also Read - Don't Spray Disinfectant on People, Says Health Ministry Days After Migrants Were 'Cleansed'

The Health Ministry also stated that 4,257 COVID-19 patients, which is 19.89 per cent, have been cured so far.

Giving further details, Environment Secretary CK Mishra said that the government has been able to cut transmission, minimise spread and increase doubling rate. “We have utilized this time to prepare ourselves for future. Growth has been more or less linear, not exponential,” he said.

He further added that on March 23, the government has done 14,915 tests across the country and on April 22, more than 5 lakh tests were done. “If a rough calculation is done, it is about 33 times in 30 days. This is not enough and we need to ramp testing in this country,” CK Mishra added.

He also said that in the last 30 days of lockdown, the government has have been able to cut transmission, minimise spread, consistently ramp up the testing and utilize this time to prepare for the future.