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01/05/2020 9:58 AM IST | Updated 01/05/2020 2:13 PM IST

Updates: Scientists Turn To Sewage Testing For Covid Clues As Cases Cross 35,000

The total number of cases in India now stands at 35,043, with 1,147 deaths.

NurPhoto via Getty Images
An instructor collects swab samples from a person during an inauguration of Smart Covid-19 OPD at JJ Hospital in Mumbai, India on April 30, 2020. 

India now has 35,043 Covid-19 cases, after the highest jump in 24 hours. 

According to the health ministry, 1,993 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours. The death toll from the novel coronavirus is now at 1,147. 

This comes even as several parts of India, denoted as ‘red zones’ are likely to extend lockdown that is supposed to end on Monday. However, nothing has in this regard has been officially announced yet. 

The government, according to anNDTV report, said that the number of ‘red zones’ had decreased by 15%.

Here’s what you need to know today: 

1. Scientists Turn To Sewage Testing

Scientists in India have turned to sewage water to get clues on how many people are infected in India, taking cue from the country’s surveillance programme for polio.

Wastewater epidemiology is a valuable tool to monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus in communities, said Manish Kumar of the Indian Institute of Technology in Gandhinagar, who is working with an international team of collaborators on the project, told PTI

The wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) global collaboration comprises over 50 institutes and researchers headed by Kyle James Bibby of the University of Notre Dame in the US.

The group is coordinating sampling and analytical protocols as well as data-sharing so that results obtained can be compared on a global scale.

The numbers in India tell their own story a population of 1.3 billion vs 9,02,654 tests till Friday, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research. Over the last five days, India has been averaging 49,800 tests a day.

“The current testing method is not enough to tell the exact situation of the coronavirus infection in India. Even if the people show symptoms for novel coronavirus,it will take three to 15 days actually to detect it,” Kumar, assistant professor at the Department of Earth Sciences, told PTI.

He said India’s polio monitoring system, which uses a similar surveillance method, could come handy in the fight against coronavirus.

Sewage-based epidemiology is an indication of what may be missed by case- based surveillance, Gagandeep Kang, executive director of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, told PTI.

2. 73 Deaths Reported In Last 24 Hours 

The Union health ministry said that 73 people had died of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll across India to 1,147. 

The ministry said that 8,889 people had been discharged across the country after recovery. 

3. No More Delhi-Gurugram Transit 

From 10 am on Friday, cross border transit between Delhi and Gurugram will be prohibited and only essential goods and services will be allowed, ANI reported.

Cars were seen lining up at the Delhi-Gurugram border on Friday morning in a bid to cross over before borders were shut. 

Earlier this week Haryana had announced that it had  tightened its borders with Delhi and restricted travel to Gurugram and Faridabad. Sonipat and Jhajjar borders with Delhi were also sealed. 

4. First Patient In India To Receive Plasma Therapy Dies 

A Covid-19 patient from Maharashtra, who was the first to receive plasma therapy in the country, died on on April 29, reports said. 

The patient was 53 years old. 

V Ravishankar, CEO of Lilavati Hospital told Hindustan Times, “When the patient was brought to the hospital, his condition was already extremely critical. He had severe breathing problems due to the delay in treatment. He had developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia.”

The report said that he was in a critical condition already when he was brought to the hospital on April 20, this was reportedly because of delay in testing. 

5. Number Of ‘Red Zones’ Reduced In Last 15 Days 

The Union health ministry said on Thursday that the number of ‘red zones’ in the country had gone down by 15% in the last 15 days. 

NDTV reported a letter from the health ministry to the chief secretaries of all states as saying that ‘red zones’ had reduced from 70 on April 15 to 130 on April 30. Green zones, the letter said, had also reduced 356 to 319, and orange zones had increased from 356 to 319. 

6. ASHA Worker Attacked In Madhya Pradesh

ANI reported that an ASHA worker was attacked in Madhya Pradesh on April 29. 

According to ANI, the woman was hit with slippers when she and her team had visited Tikamgarh to carry out medical check ups. 

Ramdevi Ahirwar also said that the man pulled her by her hair and pushed her. 

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