From Our Bureau

19TH JUNE 2020

India witnessed a surge in COVID-19 positive cases, with 13,586 fresh cases reported on Friday, taking the country’s cumulative tally to 3,80,532. The death toll rose to 12,573, with 336 fatalities in the last 24 hours.

As many as 10,386 patients recovered from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. A total of 2,04,711 patients have been cured of COVID-19 so far. The recovery rate increased to 53.79 percent. Currently, 1,63,248 active cases are under medical supervision, according to update from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The trend in the daily numbers shows an increasing rate of recovery, and an increasing gap between active and recovered cases. The increase in the proportion of recovered cases is a demonstration of India’s strategy of timely management of COVID-19.

Proactive measures like implementation of lockdown, sensitization of the general public to COVID appropriate behaviour by Government of India in coordination with the States/Union Territories, have significantly restricted the spread.

The lockdown provided a breathing space for the government to ramp up the testing facilities and health infrastructure which ensured improved recovery rate by timely detection and clinical management of COVID-19 cases.

This increasing gap is thus a result of the timely, graded, pre-emptive approach of the government to contain COVID19 and its implementation by countless frontline workers.

The testing capacity for detecting the novel Coronavirus in infected persons in the country is continuously being ramped up. The country now has the capacity to test 3 lakh samples per day. The total number of samples tested thus far is 64,26,627 with 1,76,959 samples tested in the last 24 hours.

A network of 960 labs has been created in the country as on date. This includes 703 labs in the government sector and 257 in the private sector. The tally comprises Real-Time RT PCR based testing labs: 541 (Govt: 349 + Private: 192); TrueNat based testing labs : 345 (Govt: 328 + Private: 17) and CBNAAT based testing labs : 74 (Govt: 26 + Private: 48).

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah emphasized on the need to have a unified strategy in the Delhi-NCR region to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairing a meeting here today to review the preparations for management of COVID-19,  Amit Shah said that keeping in view the close knit urban structure of the NCR region, it is necessary for all concerned authorities in Delhi and the NCR region to come together to tackle the virus.

The Union Home Minister said that in order to control the virus, there is a need to test more and it is also necessary to identify and treat those who are diagnosed as positive. There is a need to work in a Mission Mode.

The Expert Committee under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog Member Dr. V.K Paul has fixed a tariff of Rs. 2,400 for COVID-19 tests and if the tariff for such tests is higher in the States of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, then the State Governments could decide to lower their tariffs after internal consultations. He told the meeting that the committee also decided on rates for COVID-19 beds and treatment, and these rates could also be applied to hospitals in the NCR region after consultations.

The Union Home Minister said it would be better to conduct COVID19 testing through the new Rapid Antigen methodology that has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), as it will ramp up testing capacity, and will help in early diagnosis and early treatment.

Amit Shah directed officials from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana Governments to submit information about COVID-19 beds, ventilators, oxygen cylinders, ICU and ambulances available with them and their plan to augment these resources by 15th July 2020 to the Union Home Ministry so that a common strategy can be devised in the National Capital Region (NCR) in the battle against the virus.

He assured all possible support from the Central Government to the authorities in the NCR region in their efforts against the virus. The meeting was attended by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, besides senior officials from the Union Government, Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Haryana & Uttar Pradesh and other senior officers from Delhi-NCR. (eom)

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