Coronavirus Outbreak in India: COVID-19 Cases Rise to 873, ICMR Working to Develop Local Testing Kits

Team Latestly

New Delhi, March 28: The number of coronavirus cases has risen to 873 in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Saturday. Out of 873 coronavirus cases, 775 are active. While 78 people were treated successfully, 19 lost their lives due to coronavirus. One patient had migrated. Maharashtra, where 180 people have tested positive so far, recorded the most number of coronavirus cases, followed by Kerala where 173 people contracted the virus.

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Of the 19 deaths, five reported in Maharashtra and three from Gujarat. Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh recorded two deaths each. Bihar, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir. Punjab, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal saw one death each.  As India continues to see a rise in coronavirus cases, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is working to develop local testing kits. Coronavirus Outbreak Live News Updates on March 28. 

According to Dr R R Gangakhedkar, head of epidemiology and communicable disease at ICMR, researchers at Pune's National Institute of Virology are working to develop testing kits. "We are also watching the efforts of various research groups working on the vaccine, at least five are already in the animal testing stage. We have indicated our interest in the human trial stage," Dr Gangakhedkar was quoted by Times of India as saying.

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The drug regulator Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has also initiated steps to facilitate the development of local COVID-19 test kits, vaccines and therapeutics. It has fast-tracked regulatory approvals for companies working in developing coronavirus-related vaccines, diagnostic, prophylactic and therapeutics.