The death toll due to the novel Coronavirus rose to 934 and the number of cases climbed to 29,435 in the country on Tuesday, with 62 more deaths and 1,543 fresh cases being reported in the past 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry. The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 21,632 as 6,868 people were cured and discharged, and one patient migrated, the ministry said. This is the sharpest ever increase in death cases in the country.
Of the 934 deaths, Maharashtra tops the tally with 396 fatalities, followed by Gujarat at 162, Madhya Pradesh at 110, Delhi at 54, Rajasthan at 46, Andhra Pradesh at 31 and Telangana at 26. The death toll reached 31 in Uttar Pradesh, 24 in Tamil Nadu while Karnataka has reported 20 cases.
Meanwhile, the global death toll from the novel coronavirus has increased over the past 24 hours by nearly 5,000 to top 198,000, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said. According to the latest WHO data, 85,530 new cases of infection have been registered globally over the past day, with 4,982 deaths. The overall number of COVID-19 cases worldwide increased to 2,878,196 and the death count reached 198,668.
The Indian Council of Medical Research on Monday asked the states and union territories to stop using the rapid antibody COVID-19 testing kits procured from China due to "wide variation" in their performance even as the government said not a single rupee will be lost as payments were not made to the Chinese suppliers of the equipment.
India procured around five lakh rapid antibody test kits from the two Chinese firms, Guongzhou Wondfo Biotech and Livzon Diagnostics, and they were distributed to several states reporting rising cases of the coronavirus infection.
In a communication to chief secretaries of all states and union territories, the ICMR asked them to stop using the kits saying it found "wide variation" in effectiveness of the equipment supplied by the two Chinese firms despite the promise of good performance. It asked the states and UTs to return the kits so that they can be sent back to the suppliers.
"The ICMR has not made any payment in respect of these supplies. Because of the due process followed (not going for procurement with 100 per cent advance amount), Government of India does not stand to lose a single rupee," the health ministry said.
(With agency inputs)