The total number of COVID-19 cases in India reached 918 with 179 fresh cases being reported on March 28, the highest single-day increase so far, while the death toll rose to 19, according to the Union Health Ministry data.
Deaths have so far been reported from Maharashtra (5), Gujarat (3), Karnataka (2), Madhya Pradesh (2) and one each from Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Punjab, Delhi, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
Here's a roundup of the day's developments:
# The United States now has more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University showed Friday.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
# Aviation ministry allows use of passenger aircraft for cargo movement while adopting hub and spoke approach to move essential items, sources said. ATRs of Alliance Air will be on standby at Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The government is creating an Air Cargo management group for Covid-19 and helicopters have been kept at the ready for the movement of goods in the North-east.
# Sun Pharmaceutical Industries has committed to donate Rs 25 crore worth of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQS), Azithromycin and hand sanitisers to help fight the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
# Abbott announced that it has received the United States Food and Drug Administration's Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for its rapid 5-minute, portable, point-of-care molecular test for the detection of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
# Kerala reported its first COVID-19 death today after a 69-year-old man being treated for the virus died at Ernakulam Medical College Hospital. The man, hailing from Ernakulam, was admitted to the isolation ward on March 22 after his return from Dubai, the government hospital said in a statement. He breathed his last at 8 am.
# The Uttar Pradesh government has arranged for 1,000 buses to ferry migrant labourers who are stranded on the border districts owing to a countrywide lockdown, an official spokesman told news agency PTI. Officials of the Transport Department, bus drivers and conductors were contacted last night to help the people who were stranded in Noida, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar and Aligarh, among other places, he said.
# US President Donald Trump has signed into law the historic $2 trillion rescue package, setting in motion a desperately needed financial relief for millions of Americans and secure the country's economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic that has killed over 1,700 and infected more than 100,000 people across the nation. Trump signed the bill on Friday just hours after the House passed it in a bipartisan vote.
# Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has said it will work with AgVa Healthcare to help it rapidly scale up production of ventilators in the country in wake of coronavirus pandemic. "An arrangement has been entered into with AgVa Healthcare, an existing approved manufacturer of ventilators," MSI said in a statement.
# The Chinese city of Wuhan that was Ground Zero for what became the global coronavirus pandemic partly reopened today after more than two months of almost total isolation. Wuhan was placed under lockdown in January with residents forbidden to leave, roadblocks ring-fencing the city's outskirts and drastic restrictions on daily life. But the major transport and industrial hub have now signalled the end of its long isolation, with state media showing the first officially sanctioned passenger train arriving back into the city just after midnight.
# Tata Trusts has committed Rs 1500 Crores to fight coronavirus pandemic. Chairman Ratan Tata says, "urgent emergency resources need to be deployed to cope with the needs of fighting the COVID-19 crisis."
# PM has created a PM-CARES fund for people who want to contribute to the cause of fighting Coronavirus. PM asked people on Twitter to contribute to the PM-CARES Fund which will also cater to similar distressing situations in the future.
# The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 today as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States and officials dug in for a long fight against the pandemic. The latest landmark came only two days after the world passed half a million infections, according to a tally by John Hopkins University, showing that much work remains to be done to slow the spread of the virus. It showed more than 607,000 cases and a total of over 28,000 deaths. While the US. now leads the world in reported infections, with more than 104,000 cases, five countries exceed its roughly 1,700 deaths: Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France.#The number of coronavirus deaths in Britain jumped by 260 in one day to pass 1,000, official data showed today, the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself tested positive.