Delhi: .The Union Health Ministry in its latest routine media briefing stated that there has been 40% decline in COVID-19 cases in India. With 1,007 positive cases and 23 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, total number of corona virus cases registered now reached to 13835 and death toll has crossed 450 on friday. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said 1,767 people have been cured so far.

He also added that the doubling rate of Covid-19 cases before the nationwide lockdown was three days but the data of  last 7 days reveals it to be 6.2 days. The doubling rate in 19 states and Union Territories is still less than the national average.

Following are the 10 key points stated by the Union Health Ministry in its latest briefing: 

1. There has been a 40 per cent decline in growth of Covid-19 cases in India; analysis of outcome of cases shows 80 percent recovery and 20 per cent death putting India in a better position than many countries on outcome ratio, which is ratio of number of COVID-19 recoveries versus deaths.

2. The government has discussed formulating ways to look at availability of medicines, PPEs etc. 

3. “Science and tech will win us this battle” : Luv Agarwal. The efforts on making new rapid tests and polling mechanisms that allow more samples to be tested at one go are being made. India is working with global partners on viral sequencing and vaccine development and trying to speed up the process.

4. “Presently not enough evidence is present to take an official position on the BCG vaccine in Covid-19. It can’t even stop TB, can only protect from severity. It is an immunomodulator, effective for 15 years,” clarified Dr. R R Gangakhedkar. In the next week, ICMR will start a study on the BCG vaccine. That will help us decide whether it should be used for health workers, he added.

5. The team of doctors is working on recombinant BCG, convalescent plasma therapy, and monoclonal antibodies to fight Covid-19.

6. CSIR labs are working on indigenous production of antivirals that have shown promise. 

7. Target to make 10 lakh RTPCR kits in May indigenously, also there is a capacity for making 6,000 ventilators per month.

8. There are currently 1,919 dedicated hospitals in the country now with over 1,73,000 isolation and over 21,000 ICU beds.

9. Till now 3,19,400 patients have been tested, yesterday 28,340 tests were done of which 4,408 in private labs.

10. We are seeing different strains of the virus depending on where the index patient came from, however the effect of drugs will be the same on all. It will affect vaccine development though.

The novel coronavirus has infected ove 2.1 million people globally and led to more than 1, 40,000 deaths. The confirmed coronavirus death toll in the United States reached 32,917 on Thursday, marking an increase of 4,491 deaths in the past 24 hours, by far the highest daily toll in the pandemic so far.