India is set to overtake China in terms of confirmed Covid-19 cases as the country is expected to cross 80,000 cases soon. According to the health ministry data, India added 3,722 new cases in a day, taking the tally to 78,003 as of Thursday morning. As many as 26,235 patients have been cured. India ranks 12 among countries with most Covid cases, only spot behind China with 84,025 confirmed cases. In terms of deaths, however, India’s total toll stood at 2,549 against 4,637 in China. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said doubling time had slowed down in the past three days to 13.9 days, while it was 11.1 days in the past 14 days. Of the total active cases, 3 per cent were in the ICU, 0.39 per cent were on ventilators and another 2.7 per cent were on oxygen support. ALSO READ: 14 home-bound migrant workers killed in two road accidents in MP Pool-testing of migrants, international travellers The health ministry has issued guidelines for RT-PCR-based pooled testing to assess the prevalence of Covid-19 among migrant workers and all those in institutional quarantine, including international passengers. Pool testing is a cost-effective and time-saving way to detect the spread of Covid.
The pool sampling will be used as a surveillance tool in green zones as well where no case has been reported in the last 21 days.According to the guidelines, trained laboratory personnel will collect throat and nasal swab of an identified cohort of 25 people following the protocol laid by the Indian council of medical research (ICMR). ALSO READ: Coronavirus LIVE: Mumbai records almost 1,000 cases in a single day The samples will be transported in a triple-layer packaging to laboratories in the cold-chain. “These pooled samples from 25 specimens shall be tested in the laboratory by RT-PCR method. The report will be conveyed to the quarantine or concerned facility within 24 hours,” the guidelines said. If any of the pooled samples tests positive, individual samples would then be tested. The ministry had also recommended using the rapid antibody tests for surveillance purposes. The test kits being used for this purpose were found to be faulty and states were told not to use such kits. However, the recently developed Elisa test by Pune-based National Institute of Virology has been found to have higher levels of accuracy and will be used to test random samples from hotspot districts. ALSO READ: Salaried class excluded from TDS benefit to avoid tax burden: Govt While RT-PCR test, considered the gold-standard in Covid testing, detects any current infection in a person, the rapid test kits show the presence of antibodies, which take time to develop after catching the disease. Covid cases are almost 26,000 in Maharashtra with total deaths nearing 1,000. Tamil Nadu saw an increase of 508 cases in a day reaching 9,227 while Gujarat saw a similar increase as yesterday reaching 9,267 cases. Gujarat has also 566 deaths, while the number of deaths in Tamil Nadu was 64 as of Thursday.