New Delhi: India added highest 12,881 fresh COVID-19 cases on Thursday, taking the tally to 3.66 lakh, while the death toll reached 12,881 as 334 more patients succumbed to the contagious disease.
Of the fresh cases, maximum 3,307 were registered in Maharashtra, followed by 2,414 in Delhi, 2,174 in Tamil Nadu, 550 in Haryana, 516 in Gujarat and 507 in Uttar Pradesh.
In fatalities, highest 114 people died again in Maharashtra, followed by 67 in Delhi, 51 in Tamil Nadu, 27 in Gujarat and 18 each in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
India’s recovery rate stood at 52.95 per cent, however, death rate increased to 3.51 pc.
The rising number of cases is more attributed to enhanced testing with 1,65,412 samples tested on Thursday, as per Union Health Ministry.
The Health Ministry has given permission to CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute(CDRI) Lucknow to conduct phase III control trials antiviral drug Umifenovir. As per the ministry, the drug acts in preventing entry of virus into human cells and also by priming the immune system.
As loss of avenues due to COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent nationwide lockdown have pushed migrant workers under distress and forced them to leave cities and return to villages, the government said it has decided to launch a massive rural public works scheme ‘Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan
The scheme will be implemented in total of 116 districts of six states– namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha—to provide livelihood opportunities to the returnee migrant workers and rural citizens.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reassured that India’s economy will bounce back and there cannot be a better time to make a new beginning.
‘All the indicators are there showing that Indian Economy is ready to bounce back quickly, and has moved forward. Consumption and demand are rapidly approaching the pre-Covid level. In such a situation, there cannot be a better time for this new beginning,’ the Prime Minister said at the launch of the auction process of 41 Coal mines for commercial mining.
The Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking a direction to the Centre to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and file a 600 billion dollar compensation case against China, alleging that the COVID-19 pandemic was ‘deliberately created’ by it.
With COVID-19 cases rising day-by-day and peak yet not achieved, the Apex Court restrained the conduct of annual Jagannath Rath Yatra in Odisha from June 23.
In Delhi, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia temporarily took the charge of health ministry as Health Minister Satyendar Jain has tested positive for coronavirus.
The government also put a cap on corona testing charges, and said no private hospital or lab can charge more than Rs 2,400 per test.
It also announced the price of Rapid Antigen tests at Rs 450. The new rapid antigen methodology approved by ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) can show results within 30 minutes as opposed to the RT-PCR test that takes 3-4 hours.
Meanwhile, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy said the Centre is planning to conduct six lakh rapid antigen COVID-19 tests in Delhi at 169 new facilities being set up where 50,000 kits have already been supplied.
He also said the central government is going to provide 500 additional ventilators and 650 ambulances to hospitals in Delhi, which has seen a spike in number of coronavirus cases over the past few days.
Internationally, World Health Organization (WHO) welcomed the new research by Britain that dexamethasone, a cheap steroid, can reduce deaths among patients critically ill with the coronavirus, but said it was too soon to come to a conclusion.