New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday said the period of lockdown has been gainfully utilized to ramp up the health infrastructure in the country. In a press statement the Health Ministry said the recovery rate in the country improved up to 40.32%.
“There are reports in a section of media about some decisions of the government regarding the lockdown implementation and response to COVID-19 management. The period of the lockdown has been gainfully utilized to ramp up the health infrastructure in the country. As on date, 45,299 people have been cured, taking our recovery rate to 40.32%.”
The ministry said as on May 21,26,15,920 samples have been tested and 1,03,532 have been tested in the last 24 hours, through 555 testing labs (391 in the government sector and 164 private labs).
It also said that Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in collaboration with Health Ministry and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with support from State health departments and key stakeholders including WHO, is conducting a community based sero-survey to estimate the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Indian population.
It said at least 3,027 dedicated COVID hospitals and COVID health centres along with 7,013 COVID care centres have been identified. Additionally, more than 2.81 lakh isolation beds, over 31,250 ICU beds, and 11,387 oxygen supported beds have already been identified in Dedicated COVID Hospitals and COVID health centres.
The government supplied 65 lakh PPE coveralls and 101.07 lakh N95 masks to the states. “Nearly 3 lakh PPE coveralls and 3 lakh N95 masks are now being manufactured per day by domestic producers, although they were not produced in the country earlier”.
In addition, the Government is consulting and involving epidemiologists actively at all levels in order to combat COVID-19. The National Task Force (NTF) for COVID-19 constituted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has held 20 meetings since mid-March and has systematically and effectively contributed towards the scientific and technical response to the pandemic,” said the Health Ministry.
It said a team, including researchers from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) — an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) — has developed a heuristic predictive model for COVID-19 that provides short-term predictions about the evolution of the disease and the medical needs that are generated as a consequence.
The ministry stated that the Department of Bio Technology and its PSU, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) have announced a COVID-19 Research Consortium Call to support diagnostics, vaccines, novel therapeutics, repurposing of drugs or any other intervention for control of COVID-19.
The Health Ministry had hitherto maintained that the lockdown was to break the chain of transmission of COVID-19 and was often asked the rationale behind the lockdown when cases continued to be reported over 4 to 5 thousand per day. However experts at various times have said that the numbers would have spiked exponentially sans lockdown, as it was seen in other parts of the world.