India receives 5 lakh rapid COVID-19 testing kits from China; lifts import ban on used ventilators

The number of confirmed COVID 19 cases has reached 12,759 across India while 420 people have died due to the infection so far.

Published: 16th April 2020 07:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th April 2020 11:09 PM   |  A+A-

healthcare workers, coronavirus

Working in one shift, more than 42,400 samples can be tested each day, said ICMR head. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Not a single case of COVID 19 has been reported from 325 districts in the country, the Centre announced on Thursday while also declaring that fatality rate of the infection in India is 3.3 % as of now while recovery rate is about 12 %.

The number of confirmed COVID 19 cases has reached 12,759 across India while 420 people have died due to the infection so far.

On Wednesday, India conducted 30,043 coronavirus tests in a single day, making it the highest in a day so far. The Indian Council of Medical Research  said that a total of 2,90,401 COVID-19 tests had been carried on nearly 2.7 patients. 

At present, the testing is being conducted in 176 government and 78 private laboratories in India. The private laboratories have nearly 16,000 sample collection centers across states.

The country on Thursday received a total of five lakh rapid testing kits from two different Chinese companies, ICMR also said in the daily briefing on COVID 19.

The kits, however, will not be used for diagnostic testing of the disease but will instead be used for surveillance of the outbreak, at first in hotspot areas.

Dr R R Gangakhedkar, the head of Epidemiology and Communicable diseases at ICMR, said the serological kits are meant to be used to map the trend of the outbreak, for example, to see whether the number of cases is rising or falling in hotspots.

Meanwhile, amid shortage of crucial medical device ventilators, required for severe COVID 19 patients, the government also lifted import on ban on used ventilators—considered major medical hazard-- from other countries till September.

As per the estimates, the country has less than 40,000 ventilators available which could be a major detriment in country’s fight against the outbreak.

The move however has raised some concerns.

“I am not sure which countries would be in position to give away functional ventilators during this pandemic and these used machines will require much more maintenance and might not be cost effective,” said Pavan Choudary, chairman of the Medical Technology Association of India. “What is required at present is an urgent impetus to indigenous manufacturers.”

Public health expert Dr Anant Bhan too said that used ventilators from other countries, even if available, should be subjected to much more rigorous quality checks before being used in very sick patients.

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  • Rajendra Kumar Shanmugam

    Why shouldn't the Government encourage the same to be made in India?
    1 month ago reply
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