New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said the total of coronavirus cases in the country is 20,471 with 1,383 fresh cases reported in the past 24 hours, along with 50 new deaths, taking the toll to 652.
According to the ministry, the recovery rate of the coronavirus is 19.36 per cent in the country. A total of 3,959 patients have been cured from the viral infection so far.
Maharashtra has 5,221 coronavirus cases, state with highest number of positive cases so far, and 251 deaths have been reported so far. Gujarat has reported 2,272 cases and 95 deaths, followed by Delhi, which has reported 2,156 cases and 47 deaths. Rajasthan has reported 1,801 cases, Tamil Nadu 1,596, Uttar Pradesh 1,412 and Madhya Pradesh 1,592 cases.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that it has forwarded a protocol for using rapid antibody test to all states, and reiterated that antibody rapid tests are largely to be used as a tool for surveillance. “Globally also, utility of this test is evolving and it is currently being used for detecting the formation of antibodies in individuals. These test results are also dependent on field conditions. As noted by ICMR, these tests cannot replace the RT-PCR test to diagnose COVID-19 cases,” it said in a statement.
ICMR has also assured assistance to collect data from various states to assess the scope and extent of utility of these rapid antibody tests in field conditions. “ICMR shall keep advising the states on a regular basis. States have also been advised to follow the prescribed protocol for these tests and use it for the purposes for which they are meant,” added the statement.