COVID-19 Cases in India Cross 31,000, Death Toll Crosses 1,000
The Health Ministry said the recovery rate of COVID-19 patients has as such improved to 23.3 percent of total cases.
The total number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 31,332 on Wednesday, 29 April, with the death toll standing at 1,007, according to the figures released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
This number includes 22,629 active cases, 7,695 cured/discharged patients, and one migrated person.
The nationwide tally of confirmed coronavirus infections crossed 30,000 on Tuesday and the death toll was seen inching towards 1,000 with Maharahstra, Gujarat and some other states reporting more fatalities, but hopes for any immediate cure were dashed after the Health Ministry said there is not enough evidence as yet to back plasma therapy as its treatment.
The Ministry also cautioned there could be life-threatening complications if proper guidelines are not followed in administering the plasma therapy, in which blood plasma is transfused from a recovered COVID-19 patient to a critically-ill person.
The therapy, currently in trial stage, works on a principle that immunity can be transferred from a healthy person to a sick patient using antibodies in convalescent plasma.
There has been a 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, while few other states including Rajasthan and Karnataka have also begun the trials.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed officials on Tuesday itself to encourage use of plasma therapy, while steps are already underway at various places to create 'plasma banks'. Several people who have recovered after contracting the virus have offered to donate their plasma for treatment of others.
At his daily press briefing on the COVID-19 situation, Union 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.
“If plasma therapy is not used in a proper manner under proper guidelines, then it can also cause life threatening complications,” Agarwal said.
The Health Ministry official, however, said the recovery rate of COVID-19 patients has as such improved to 23.3 percent of total cases.
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