Testing lag, PPE worries and Delhi hotspot: Covid-19 news from India

Updated on Mar 31, 2020 10:52 AM IST

Here’s a list of top stories from Hindustan Times newspaper

Laboratory technicians sit next to boxes containing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing kits at a sample collection centre in Ahmedabad(REUTERS)
Laboratory technicians sit next to boxes containing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing kits at a sample collection centre in Ahmedabad(REUTERS)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

India continues to lag in testing suspected Covid-19 patients. Although the country has opened up testing to private laboratories, questions remain on the availability of testing kits and if unrealistic standards have been set for them. Also, there are worries over the quality and shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). The government, however, tried to assuage concerns on Monday, saying factories producing essential items (such as masks) are working round the clock, and ordnance factories are trying to produce PPEs for medical personnel. Meanwhile, the headquarters of a religious sect in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area has emerged as one of the biggest coronavirus disease hotspots in the country, with 24 people testing positive and nearly 200 showing symptoms.

At 32 per million, India lagging far behind on testing

Nearing a month after the wave of Covid-19 infections began in India, testing in the country is a 60th of that in the UK, a 82th of that in the US, and a 241th of that in South Korea, highlighting an area where India continues to lag. Read more

Covid-19: What you need to know today

India’s health ministry has said that there could be limited community transmission in India. In a standard operating procedure (SOP) document, the ministry referred to the “current phase of Covid-19 pandemic in India” and explained this, within parenthesis as “local transmission and limited community transmission”. Read more

India orders PPE kits as frontline health workers face shortage

While the quality issues are worrying, what’s equally worrying is the shortage of PPE. Reuters reported last week, citing documents from India Invest, that the country needs 6.2 million units of PPE and has “approached hundreds of companies to secure supplies quickly”. Read more

Delhi coronavirus positive cases touches 97, Nizamuddin a hot spot

The headquarters of a religious sect in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area has emerged as one of the biggest coronavirus disease (Covid-19) hot spots in India with 24 people testing positive and nearly 200 others showing symptoms on Monday . Read more

States move to quarantine returnees, stop migration amid Covid-19 lockdown

The movement of migrant workers to their homes , mostly in the hinterland, continued on Monday even as police in states such as Kerala and Gujarat said they arrested scores of them for defying the three-week countrywide lockdown. Read more

India studies efficacy of anti-malarial drug on Covid-19

India has begun a demonstration study in around a 1,000 health workers and close contacts of positive coronavirus (Covid-19) cases on the efficacy of the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, as a prophylactic drug against Covid-19. Read more

Centre says no plans to extend lockdown period

The government on Monday denied as “baseless” rumours and media reports claiming it will extend the 21-day countrywide lockdown imposed last week to halt the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Read more

Covid-19 community transmission debate continues

The Union health ministry clarified on Monday that community transmission of Covid-19 hadn’t yet begun in India, a day after signalling the onset of “limited community transmission” of the disease. The ministry said limited community transmission isn’t the same as community transmission -- Stage 3 of infectious diseases such as the one caused by the SARS-Cov-2 virus. Read more

Forge collaborations for Covid-19 solutions: PM Modi to Indian missions

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday tasked Indian missions around the world to ensure the welfare of citizens stranded because of Covid-19-related restrictions, and to forge collaborations to find solutions to the pandemic. Read more

India’s FY21 outlook bleak, economy to enter slow lane

Forecasters are slashing India’s economic growth estimates for the financial year starting April 1, with most expecting a severe contraction in June quarter output. Read more

Bollywood stares at dry summer

With fears of a global recession looming due to the coronavirus outbreak, India’s Hindi entertainment industry — one of the biggest in the world — is staring at a likely revenue loss of upwards of 1300 crore, based on predicted domestic net collections of 12 big-ticket films that either released in March or were slated to release in April and May. Read more

Telangana cuts salaries of govt staff by 10-75%

The Telangana government on Monday announced drastic cuts – ranging from a minimum 10% to a maximum 75% - in the monthly salaries of all its employees and public representatives, citing the impact of Covid-19 on the state’s finances. Read more

Science and tech group set up to look into long-term solutions

With the entire world battling the Covid-19 infection that has killed at least 35,000 people, Indian scientists have come together to help front-line healthcare workers by devising cheaper ventilators, new diagnostics kits that can be manufactured in the country, innovative personal protective equipment, and newer ways to disinfect hospitals. Read more

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