Fourteen private companies including Swiss firm Roche Diagnostics India have been given test license by the drug regulator DCGI for evaluation of the quality of COVID-19 testing kits, a CDSCO official said. Apart from Roche Diagnostics India, rest of the 13 are Indian firms include CoSara Diagnostics from Ahmedabad and CPC Diagnostics from Chennai. All these companies will evaluate the quality of testing kits and submit their data to the Drug Controller General of India. Roche Diagnostics India received the license from the country’s drug regulator DCGI for its ‘cobas SARS CoV-2’ diagnostic test kit on March 17.
Railways on Friday cancelled 90 trains, which will not operate between March 20 and March 31, in view of low occupancy and the novel coronavirus pandemic, sources said Friday. With this, the total number of cancelled trains has climbed to 245. Earlier on Thursday, the railways cancelled 84 trains and said 155 trains stood cancelled due to COVID-19. “All passengers having tickets in these trains are being informed about it individually. No cancellation fee will be taken for these trains. Passengers will get 100-per cent refund,” the source said.
California’s 40 million residents should stay home indefinitely and venture outside only for essential jobs, errands and some exercise, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday, warning that the coronavirus threatens to overwhelm the state’s medical system. The move, the most sweeping by any state so far, was an exclamation point at the end of a week of increasingly aggressive moves meant to keep the virus in check by forcing people to stay away from each other as often as possible. “I can assure you home isolation is not my preferred choice, I know it’s not yours, but it’s a necessary one,” Newsom said at an evening news conference streamed on social media.
Four more people tested positive for coronavirus in Chandigarh on Friday, taking the total number of cases in the state to five. Among the four cases were the mother, brother and the cook of a 23-year-old woman who had earlier tested positive for coronavirus in Chandigarh, an official statement said. Besides, a 26-year-old woman who recently returned from the UK has also tested positive for the deadly disease. Till now, five individuals have been tested positive for COVID-19 in Chandigarh, the statement said.
The coronavirus death toll in Spain rose to 1,002 on Friday after another 235 people died in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said. The number of cases also soared to 19,980 after another 2,833 infections were confirmed over the same period, the ministry’s emergencies coordinator Fernando Simon said. The figures showed a 16.5 percent hike in the number of infections, which was a drop from the 25-percent increase registered a day earlier, Simon said. But he also said the testing laboratories were “overwhelmed” which could skew the numbers.
The Uttarakhand government on Friday banned the entry of domestic and foreign tourists into the state till further orders to contain the spread of coronavirus. An order issued by Health Secretary Nitesh Jha said several advisories have been issued in the past asking people to avoid unnecessary travel. Keeping this into account, the need to put a ban on the entry of domestic and foreign tourists was felt so that the contagion of coronavirus could be stopped, the order said.