India has reported 693 new cases of the novel Coronavirus since Sunday taking the total number to 4067, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday. The death toll has touched 109, as 30 people succumbed to COVID-19 since Sunday. So far, 291 patients have recovered.
"693 new #COVID19 cases have been reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total number to 4067 in India out of which 1445 cases are related to Tablighi Jamaat. 76% of cases have been reported in males and 24% in females," Joint Secretay for Health, Lav Aggarwal said.
The mortality rate for COVID-19 is high among people aged over 60 years, the official informed. In a breakdown of the deaths reported, the official said that 63% of the deaths have been reported among people over 60 years age, 30% in the age bracket of 40 to 60 years and 7% of victims were below 40 years of age. He further informed that young people with co-morbidities are also at risk.
Lav Aggarwal also said thet the Ministry has allowed the use of anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine for healthcare workers dealing with COVID-19 patients or high risk contacts of the patients though there is limited evidence of its efficacy. He held that there is not sufficient evidence to use it at community level to treat the virus.
Punya Salila Srivastava, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed that the government has so far quarantined over 25,000 Tablighi Jamaat workers and their contacts. Five Haryana villages where they visited have also been sealed. Delhi's Nizamuddin Markaz emerged as a coronavirus hotspot following a massive religious congregation attended by Indian and foreign nationals, many of whom contracted the virus.
"An order has been placed for 5 lakh testing kits for COVID19; 2.5 lakhs kits to be delivered on April 8-9," R Gangakhedkar, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said.