Coronavirus (COVID-19): At least 1,035 cases and 40 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, said the health ministry Saturday. Addressing a routine press conference on the coronavirus situation in the country, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal said that India’s response to COVID-19 has been proactive. We have followed a graded approach. There are 586 COVID-19 dedicated hospitals and more than 1 lakh isolation beds in the country now,” he said.
Supporting the lockdown and containment measures in place to check the spread of COVID-19, Agarwal further said that without this lockdown and without containment measures, India would have had 8.2 lakh cases by April 15.
Meanwhile, a broad consensus on the extension of the lockdown emerged out of a four hour, ten- minute meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Ministers of states from across the country on COVID-19. It is learnt that the present lockdown will be continued for at least two more weeks, and even then not entirely lifted, but a staggered exit strategy will be put in place, depending on circumstances prevalent at the time.
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This comes after a vast majority of the states that spoke at the meeting, 15 in all it is learnt, leant towards the extension of the lockdown.
Here are the main points from the health ministry press briefing:
1. Of 16,564 samples tested yesterday 14,210 samples tested in ICMR labs: Dr R R Gangakhedkar
2. Home Ministry has written to states again to give police security to healthcare workers wherever required: Punya Salila Srivastava JS MHA
3. 1,035 cases reported in last 24 hours and also 40 deaths: Lav Agarwal
4. We had done an analysis on cases based on statistical understanding, not ICMR study; this gave the 8.2 lakh figure at 42 per cent growth rate: Lav Agarwal
5. Post lockdown the growth rate is down to 29 per cent; we have 7,447 cases today, but it would have been 45,000 without lockdown: Lav Agarwal
6. Over 1.6 lakh households screened, 1,248 special teams, 3 km radius covered in Agra model of containment zones
7. Rapid test kits have not arrived so far, we’ve been told it will come in two-three days: Dr R R Gangakhedkar
8. If duration of exposure is not enough then findings can be wrong….Use of HCQ is as prophylaxis not as treatment. We’ve never recommended it to general public: R Gangakhedkar
9. The response of Government of India has been preemptive, proactive and to the extent of being over-prepared and through our graded approach, we have aligned our response with the evolving situation. Ministry of AYUSH has prepared a set of guidelines on respiratory health and to boost immunity. Districts have been asked to incorporate this in district-level contingency plan as well: Lav Agarwal
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