Coronavirus India News Live Updates: Calling for continued vigilance and a high state of preparedness against the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday directed health authorities to scale up Covid-19 testing and sero-surveys and said the facility to get tested regularly and speedily at a low cost must be available to all at the earliest, news agency PTI reported.
Chairing a review meeting of the research and vaccine deployment ecosystem against the Covid-19 pandemic, the prime minister also underscored the need for continuous and rigorous scientific testing and validation of traditional medicine treatments.
India detected 67,708 cases of the novel coronavirus in the 24 hours ending 9 pm Thursday, taking its tally to 73,07,098. This includes 8,12,390 patients who are being treated for the disease, 63,83,442 who had recovered and 1,11,266 who succumbed.
Meanwhile, records accessed by The Indian Express reveal 50 government departments have contributed Rs 157.23 crore from staff salaries to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) fund, set up following the Covid-19 outbreak. RTI records show the Indian Railways contributed the highest at Rs 146.72 crore, or 93 per cent, followed by the Department of Space with over Rs 5.18 crore. The Prime Minister’s Office, which manages the funds, has earlier decline to reveal details of contributions.
In other news, as part of our Bihar Elections 2020 special coverage, The Indian Express reports on the mammoth exercise underway in the state to create Covid-19 kits — for voters, polling personnel and security staff. There are three centres where the exercise is taking place — Patna, Muzaffarpur and Purnea. The scale of this exercise underlines the challenge in conducting an election during a pandemic.