India has reported 909 new coronavirus cases, with 34 deaths in the last 24 hours, the health ministry said on Sunday at a daily press briefing. Meanwhile, out of the total 8,356 cases, 273 patients have died, 7,367 people are being treated, 716 people have recovered, and one person has returned to their country.
Only 20%, or 1,671 patients of the total cases, require intensive care treatment and oxygen support, said joint secretary Lav Agarwal. “This figure is important to show that the government is planning things ahead in order to be over prepared to deal with the situation,” he added.
The Centre has also approved the release of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to 13 countries, after taking into consideration the country’s domestic requirements and the buffer stock available, government spokesperson KS Dhatwalia said. Hydroxychloroquine is believed to be effective in treating Covid-19.
The Indian Council for Medical Research said it has conducted testing for 1,86,906 samples, so far. Out of these, 7,593 have tested positive for the coronavirus. “The Centre has set up 219 testing facilities across the country. This includes 151 government labs and 68 privately run laboratories,” ICMR official Dr Manoj Murhekar added.
When asked about the status of a vaccine for Covid-19, Murhekar said: “More than 40 vaccines are under development but none have reached the next stage.”
The government is working on an urgent basis to expand its capacity for Covid-19 testing in government and private medical colleges across the country, Agarwal said. “For this purpose, the Centre has identified 14 institutes, including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, which will mentor other hospitals,” he added.