Here are the top 10 updates on Coronavirus Cases in India:
Twenty-five more people died from COVID-19 in Maharashtra on Thursday in the sharpest spike yet since the beginning of the pandemic, taking the total number of deaths to 97.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says more testing is a key step in the fight against the virus and cities like Mumbai have ramped up testing with more testing kits being procured and private labs conducting tests as well.
Sources have told NDTV that an extension of the lockdown for Mumbai and Pune is definitely being considered while non-affected areas may see some relaxations, especially for farming-related activities.
Random coronavirus tests on patients with severe respiratory diseases are showing that more and more people with no travel or contact history are contracting the virus. Data compiled by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) showed that 38 per cent of such patients, who later tested positive for the virus, had no history of travel.
The ICMR, the nodal body for the fight against the virus, has amped up testing in hotspots identified and sealed in Delhi and several other states. Now people present in the hotspots, whether connected to the patients or not, will be tested if they are showing symptoms of the disease for at least a week, the medical body said.
For the last 20 days, only five categories of people were being tested for coronavirus infection. Now ICMR has revised the strategy, allowing people with fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose in hotspot areas with seven days of illness to be tested.
The expansion of the scope of the tests comes as the government is considering whether to lift or extend the countrywide lockdown, which is scheduled to end on April 15.
With the number of COVID-19 cases rising, many states have suggested an extension of the lockdown. But with twin pressures of the economy and the harvest season, there have also been suggestions of a phased lifting of the lockdown, keeping the hotspots of the disease sealed.
"Coronavirus is the biggest threat that the human race has faced in more than a century. Life will not be the same ever. All of us must understand this and face it boldly together. With our sacrifice and with the blessing of Lord Jagannath, this too shall pass," Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Thursday while announcing extension of the lockdown in the state.
Medical experts in nations that have managed to keep the virus under control, have repeatedly underscored the importance of aggressive testing. South Korea has successfully conducted mass testing of their people, with drive-through kiosks where swabs were taken and the results texted to the patient after six hours.