India has detected 80 more COVID-19 cases since 8 a.m. on April 8, taking the total to 5,274, as per health ministry data at 5 p.m on Apr 8.

It took 60 days to reach the first 1,000 COVID-19 cases (Mar 29), 4 days to cross 2,000 (Apr 2). Since then, cases have increased by 1,000 every 2 days to cross 5,000 on April 8.

Only two states--Telangana (63 new cases) & Uttar Pradesh (17)--have reported new cases since 8 a.m. on April 8. Nine patients have been discharged--five in Uttar Pradesh & four in Andhra Pradesh--since 8 a.m.

Maharashtra, which continues to have the most cases (1,018) was the first to cross the 1,000-case mark, by reporting 150 cases since April 7.

“It can not be decided on the basis of the absolute number of deaths” if there are higher or lower deaths, said Raman Gangakhedkar of ICMR referring to the high number in Maharashtra during a press conference on Apr 8. “The number of deaths are small currently.”

Every death is an “area of concern”, added Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, ministry of health and family welfare during the press conf. “Early identification is a key to manage the disease better, for which we require community support.”

Till date, 121,271 tests have been conducted, said Gangakhedkar of ICMR. On April 7, 13,375 tests were conducted, of which 2,269 were in private labs. New testing labs have been approved for Delhi, Punjab and Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court issued interim directions that all COVID-19 tests in government & private labs shall “be of free cost,” & tests must be conducted in National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories-accredited labs or any agencies approved by WHO or ICMR.

(Compiled by Shreehari Paliath)