WORLD India adds 96K virus cases, orders some retests

WORLD

India adds 96K virus cases, orders some retests

AP

13:00, September 11, 2020

testing.jpeg

A health worker takes a nasal swab sample to test for COVID-19 in Gauhati, India, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. (Photo: AP)

India edged closer to recording nearly 100,000 coronavirus cases in 24 hours as it ordered retesting of many people whose first results were from the less reliable rapid antigen tests being widely used.

According to the Health Ministry, India recorded another spike of 96,551 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total caseload to over 4.56 million. It also reported on Friday another 1,209 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 76,271.

India has the second-highest caseload behind the United States, where more than 6.39 million people have been confirmed as infected.

India’s health ministry has asked states to allow testing on demand without a doctor’s prescription. It also said some negative rapid antigen tests should be redone through the more reliable RT-PCR method, the gold standard of coronavirus tests that looks for the genetic code of the virus.

The retesting order applied to people who had negative results but had fever, coughing or breathlessness, or people who developed those COVID-19 symptoms within three days of their negative test results.

The order was meant to ensure that infected people did not go undetected and to help check the spread the disease among their contacts.

Using the rapid antigen, or viral protein, tests has allowed India to dramatically increase its testing capacity to more than 1.1 million a day, but the quicker, cheaper test is less reliable and retesting is often recommended.

The directive came as 60% of India’s cases have been reported from only five of the country’s 28 states. However, experts caution that India’s outbreak is entering a more dangerous phase as the virus spreads to smaller towns and villages.

With the economy contracting by a record 23.9% in the April-June quarter leaving millions jobless, the Indian government is continuing with relaxing lockdown restrictions that were imposed in late March.

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue