QBullet: India COVID-19 Cases Near 20,000; ICMR on Rapid Tests

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Updated22 Apr 2020, 03:10 AM IST
4 min read

1. Cases Double to 20,000 in 8 Days

Image used for representational purposes.
Image used for representational purposes.
(Photo: PTI)

The number of COVID-19 cases in India rose above the 20,000-mark on Tuesday, but the rate at which this threshold was crossed – it took more than 8 days for the tally to double – raises hopes that the country may be able to avert the sort of devastation seen in some other parts of the world.

Globally, there are now 2.5 million infections and close to 175,000 deaths. In India, the number of fatalities on Tuesday was 644.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

2. After Complaints, ICMR Tells States Not to Use Rapid Tests for Two Days

Through 'Pool Testing' the administration would be able to use less kits for more tests.
Through 'Pool Testing' the administration would be able to use less kits for more tests.
(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

Following complaints that the rapid antibody test kits are showing varying levels of accuracy, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has asked all states not to use the serological COVID-19 tests for the next two days, pending field validation by its teams.

“We have been getting complaints that when the serological tests are being done on the blood samples of people who have already tested positive in the RT-PCR test, the accuracy ranges from 6% to 71%. This needs to be investigated,” Dr R R Gangakhedkar, head of epidemiology and infectious diseases at ICMR, said.

(Source: The Indian Express)

3. Trump’s Immigration Suspension to Last 60 Days, Will Impact Those Seeking Green Cards

US President Donald Trump tweeted that he will be signing an ‘executive order’ to temporarily suspend immigration into the country.
US President Donald Trump tweeted that he will be signing an ‘executive order’ to temporarily suspend immigration into the country.
(Photo: Arnica Kala/The Quint)

President Donald Trump has said he expects to sign an executive order Wednesday that will suspend immigration — mostly impacting Green Cards — for the next 60 days to ensure Americans hits by record layoffs caused by the coronavirus outbreak get a first shot at all available jobs.

Exemptions will be over cases on humanitarian ground and short-term work, which could include, though he did not specify, H-1B visas, more than 70% of which have tended to go to Indians hired from US universities or from India by US companies and US subsidiaries of Indian companies.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

4. June, July Will Test Resolve: Top Official in COVID Battle

In the first clear indication from a senior government functionary of how long the road ahead is, Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, has said that India’s resolve in the battle against the novel coronavirus will be tested in the months of June and July, after lockdown curbs have been eased.

“De-escalation of lockdown is potentially an opportunity for the virus to resurface and spread, and this is bound to happen to an extent,” Dr Paul told The Indian Express in an interview. “There could be new clusters when life and activities become more normal.”

(Source: The Indian Express)

5. UAPA Against Umar Khalid and Jamia Activists Over Riots in Northeast Delhi

File image of Umar Khalid with fellow protesters gathered at Mandi House.
File image of Umar Khalid with fellow protesters gathered at Mandi House.
(Photo: PTI)

Days after arresting Jamia student and Chhatra Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) member Meeran Haider and media coordinator of the Jamia Coordination Committee Safoora Zargar on charges of conspiracy in connection with the February Northeast Delhi riots, the Delhi Police’s Special Cell has booked them under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Umar Khalid and a local resident of Northeast Delhi’s Bhajanpura, Danish, have also been booked under the same Act.

(Source: The Indian Express)

6. 69% of Cases Found Positive Were Asymptomatic: ICMR

Covid-19 tests that delivered positive results in India so far show 69% positive cases were asymptomatic, whereas 31% are symptomatic representing a ratio of 1:2, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Tuesday.

So far, over four lakh samples have been tested for Covid-19 in India and of these 18,601 were positive.

(Source: The Times of India)

7. Changes in FDI Rules Don't Violate Treaties: India to China

A day after China’s outburst over the change in foreign direct investment policy, India on Tuesday hit back at its neighbour, saying the amendment did not violate any global commitment as it did not bar investments from across the border but only mandated prior screening of proposals.

Besides, sources pointed to a host of Chinese policies to argue that Beijing had a chequered record in following "discriminatory" policies against overseas entitles.

(Sources: The Times of India)

8. Pakistan Quietly Removes Names of 4,000 Terrorists From Its Watchlist: Report

Pakistan has discreetly removed the names of around 4,000 terrorists from its watchlist, including that of one of the major planners of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup has revealed.

Due to Pakistan's long history of exporting terror to India and the rest of the world, the country has been placed under grey list by Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global watchdog for terror funding.

(Source: The Tribune)

9. LS Staffer, Kin of Rashtrapati Bhavan Worker Test Positive

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reached the apex of the Indian State — Rashtrapati Bhavan and Indian Parliament — on Tuesday as a special housekeeper of Lok Sabha — whose son works in Parliament too — and a daughter-in-law of a Rashtrapati Bhavan sanitation worker were tested positive.

A cluster of 125 residential houses in the Rashtrapati Bhavan estate was sealed while New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) turned a large number of residential houses near Kali Bari Marg, where the parliament employee lived, into a containment zone.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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Published: 22 Apr 2020, 01:50 AM IST
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