The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 23,452 on Friday evening, according to data from the health ministry. The Indian Council of Medical Research, however, said that at least 23,502 people have tested positive for Covid-19 so far. The toll rose to 723 while the number of patients who have recovered stood at 4,813.
The Centre has said four more inter-ministerial central teams have been set up to review the Covid-19 situation in Ahmedabad, Surat, Hyderabad and Chennai. The Centre had earlier this week sent six teams to West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the coronavirus crisis has taught India to be self-reliant. “Coronavirus has created new challenges that we have never imagined,” the prime minister said during a virtual meeting with village heads across the country on the occasion of Panchayati Raj Day. The prime minister praised the village heads for their handling of the escalating health crisis.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has announced a complete lockdown in Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Salem and Tirupur from April 26. This entails a blanket ban on all activities and movement of people apart from the “extremely essential services” identified by the government.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that plasma therapy trials – transfusion of plasma from a person who has recovered from Covid-19 to a patient in critical condition –have been conducted on four patients in the Capital. He added that the results so far had been encouraging.
Franklin Templeton decided to shut six fixed-income and credit-risk funds run by its Indian unit due to the coronavirus pandemic, locking in $4.1 billion (Rs 30,800 crore) of investor monies. “There has been a dramatic and sustained fall in liquidity in certain segments of the corporate bonds market on account of the Covid-19 crisis and the resultant lock-down of the Indian economy,” the asset manager of the global financial firm said.
Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee said India has not done “anything close to enough” in providing relief to the poor who have been adversely impacted by the countrywide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Banerjee said the Indian government needed to think of a “clear, well-articulated plan” on what should be done next.
A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi has developed a low cost method of detecting Covid-19. The institute claimed the new testing method – based on real time polymerase chain reaction-based methods of diagnosis – has been approved by the Indian Council for Medical Research.
Covid-19 has infected more than 27 lakh people and killed over 1.9 lakh in 185 countries or regions.