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India’s Coronavirus Death Toll Nears 12,000 With Record Jump of 2,000; Life-Saving Dexamethasone Steroid Offers Hope

Representative image.

Representative image.

The number of cases in the country rose to 3,54,065, with 10,974 infections being reported in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

  • News18.com New Delhi
  • Last Updated: June 17, 2020, 4:48 PM IST
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India's coronavirus death toll has leapt by more than 2,000 to reach 11,903 in record jump so far, the government announced on Wednesday.

The number of cases in the country rose to 3,54,065, with 10,974 infections being reported in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

The number of active cases stands at 1,55,227, while 1,86,934 people have recovered and one patient has migrated.

"Thus, around 52.79 per cent patients have recovered so far," an official said.

Of the 2,003 new deaths, Maharashtra accounts for the highest 1,409 fatalities followed by Delhi at 437, Tamil Nadu at 49, Gujarat 28, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana 18 each, Madhya Pradesh 11, West Bengal 10, Rajasthan 7, Karnataka 5 and Telangana 4.


Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Punjab, Puducherry and Uttarakhand have reported one death each.

Mumbai revised its death toll up by 862 to 3,165 because of "discrepancies" in accounting for fatalities while New Delhi saw more than 400 deaths, taking its total to more than 1,800.

The world has been given a glimmer of hope with the World Health Organization on Tuesday hailing a "breakthrough" steroid treatment for the coronavirus, boosting hopes that pandemic deaths can be reduced.

"This is great news and I congratulate the Government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough," said the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Researchers led by a team from the University of Oxford administered the drug, dexamethasone, to more than 2,000 severely ill COVID-19 patients.

Among those who could only breathe with the help of a ventilator, it reduced deaths by 35 percent.

"Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide," said Peter Horby, professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Nuffield Department of Medicine at Oxford.

But there were fresh reminders of the lingering threat from Asia.

China, which had largely brought its outbreak under control, reported another 31 new infections in Beijing, bringing the total from a fresh cluster linked to a wholesale food market to 137 in six days.

The capital's airports cancelled at least 1,255 flights Wednesday, nearly 70 percent of all services, state media reported.

More than 8.1 million people have now been infected by the virus since it emerged in China late last year, with nearly 440,000 deaths so far.

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