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Lav Agarwal, face of India's COVID briefings, tests positive

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New Delhi, Aug 14: Joint Secretary in the health ministry Lav Agarwal, who has been leading the central government's news conferences on COVID-19 has tested positive for coronavirus infection.

Lav Agarwal

"Dear All, Just to inform that I have tested positive for COVID 19 and initiating home isolation as per guidelines. Requesting all my friends, colleagues for self-monitoring. Contact tracing will be done by the Health Team. Hoping to see everyone soon," the 48-year-old said in a tweet on Friday.

A 1996-batch IAS officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre, Agarwal was the central government''s official spokesperson at the national media briefings to provide updates on the COVID-19 situation in the country throughout April and May.

Health ministry media briefings are now addressed by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan with Agarwal also remaining present.

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    Union Health Ministry on Friday said that India recorded another steep rise in its single-day cases. The country recorded 64,553 fresh COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours. With 1,007 more deaths reported in the last 24 hours across the country, the COVID-19 death toll in India has jumped to 48,040.

    According to health ministry, India's total COVID-19 count rises to 24,61,191 which includes 6,61,595 active cases and 17,51,556 patients who have been cured from the disease or discharged from hospitals.

    At present, India's recovery rate is over 70 per cent while the death rate stands at 1.95 per cent, among the lowest across the globe.

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