NEW DELHI, May 8 - The Centre on Friday said that recovery rate of COVID-19 patients has improved in the country as at least 16,540 people have recovered till now pushing up the recovery rate to 29.36 per cent.
Briefing newsmen, a health ministry official said that 216 districts have not reported any case till date, while 42 districts have reported no fresh cases in the last 28 days and 29 districts have no fresh cases in the last 21 days.
The official said that cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in the country has climbed to 56,342, while the death toll stands at 1,886, and 37,916 people are under active medical supervision.
In the last 24 hours, 3,390 new cases have come up and 1,273 people have recovered.
According to the official, some States have witnessed a rise in cases during the last few days and that there is a need to strengthen containment efforts to stop the rise in those States.
The Indian Railways has converted 5,231 coaches into COVID Care Centres, which will be placed at 215 identified railway stations, the official said adding that these coaches will be used for treatment of very mild and mild COVID-19 cases. Maximum of two persons will be housed in one cabin.
He said Project PLACID - Phase-II Open-Label Randomised Controlled Trial of ICMR has received approval of COVID-19 National Ethics Committee. Under it, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will conduct trial in 21 hospitals to assess safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma.
Moreover, an inter-ministerial coordination committee, comprising officials of ministries of health, external affairs, home affairs, civil aviation, armed forces and Air India, has been constituted to implement the standard operating procedures for evacuation of stranded people to and from India.
Various actions have been collectively taken by the Centre and States for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19 and these are being regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level.
Meanwhile, official spokesperson of the home ministry said that Indian Railways has run 222 Shramik Special Trains for movement of stranded persons and more than 2.5 lakh people have made use of this facility so far.
She said the process for return of Indian nationals stranded abroad through non-scheduled commercial flights and Indian Navy ships has begun from Thursday.