COVID-19 updates (Updated daily): PM to address nation at 10 am tomorrow | Rapid testing kits from China delayed

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN INDIA (updated 13th April 2020)

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April 7, 2020 | Number of cases: 4421| Number of deaths: 114

With a week left for the end of the lockdown period announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there have been reports that the Center is mulling over an extension. The Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has hinted at a possible extension beyond the current stipulated date of April 14th. 

Stating that we must put health over the economy, Naidu added that the exit strategy will be framed based on data regarding the extent of the spread of the virus across the country. In a video conference with chief ministers of various states that took place last week the Prime Minister had suggested the lifting of the lockdown in a staggered manner depending on the severity of the spread. 

India has relaxed its previously imposed ban on export of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an antimalarial drug used in an experimental treatment of COVID-19. The drug could be made available to nations badly affected by COVID-19 if the companies producing them have enough stock. The relaxation of the ban comes in the backdrop of United States President Donald Trump’s threats of retaliation if India did not supply HCQ to the United StatesIndia had banned the export through a notification issued on April 4th. In the middle of this controversy, the efficacy of HCQ in the treatment of COVID-19 is yet to be credibly established. 

Facing a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers in the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has instructed its healthcare workers to reuse N95 masks up to four times after appropriately disinfecting the same. Doctors, nursing staff, maintenance and security personnel engaged in the patient care areas of one of India’s largest hospitals will be provided with n95 masks that must be reused. 

The healthcare workers were issued a circular on the reuse of the mask wherein the administration stated that disinfecting the masks suitably would make them safe for use for up to 20 days. This instruction comes in the backdrop of a PPE shortage faced across the world.

Last updated, April 7th, 6:00 pm

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