As India entered its last week of the 21-day lockdown on Wednesday, regarded as the make-or-break week by authorities, the health ministry ensured that there is absolutely no shortage of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in the country right now or in the future and the situation is being monitored at the highest level.
“The whole situation (of hydroxycholoroquine) is being monitored at the highest level; it is being ensured not just now, even in future there will be no shortage as and when needed,” health ministry Joint Secretary, Lav Agarwal said at the routine ministry press briefing today.
The ministry’s clarification comes a day after India said it would supply essential drugs to “some nations who have been particularly badly affected” by COVID-19 and to “neighbouring countries who are dependent on India’s capabilities.” New Delhi had partially lifted the ban on exports of essential drugs, immediately after US President Donald Trump said that “there may be retaliation” if India does not agree to export the key anti-malaria drug.
Here are the top points from the health ministry presser: 4.
1. In last one day 773 positive cases were reported. Total 149 deaths have been reported and around 32 people have died yesterday: Lav Aggarwal
2. The total number of infections crossed the 5000 mark today and now stand at 5,194 cases, including 402 people who have been discharged, said Agarwal, adding that the focus in hospitals is infection prevention and ensuring control measures are followed.
3. The Centre has told states to continue its focus on building hospitals and on surveillance and contact tracing, Aggarwal said.
4. Meanwhile, 1,21,271 have been tested for coronavirus in India, R Gangakhedkar, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said. “The number of deaths is so small that you cannot say deaths are significantly higher in Maharashtra; it can even be a chance,” he responded to a question regarding the rise in death toll.
5. Whole situation (of hydroxycholoroquine) is being monitored at the highest level; it is being ensures not just now even in future there will be no shortage as and when needed: Lav Agarwal
6. In 31 states/UTs, cash benefits of Rs.1000 to Rs.6000 have been announced for registered construction workers under Building&Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Fund. Rs. 3000 crores have been given to 2 crore registered construction workers till now: Joint Secy, Home Ministry.
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