From Our Bureau

30TH JUNE 2020

India witnessed a surge in COVID-19 positive cases with 18,522 fresh cases reported on Tuesday, taking the country’s cumulative tally to 5,66,840. The death toll rose to 16,893, with 418 fatalities in the last 24 hours.

As on date, there are 1,19,697 more recovered patients than COVID-19 active cases. While there are 2,15,125 active cases under medical supervision, 3,34,822 patients have been cured/discharged. In the last 24 hours, 13,099 COVID-19 patients have been cured. This has resulted in the recovery rate amongst COVID-19 patients further improving to 59.07 percent.

The number of diagnostic labs is continuously increasing. India now has 1,049 diagnostic labs dedicated to COVID-19. These include 761 labs in the government sector and 288 private labs. These facilities include Real-Time RT PCR based testing labs: 571 (Govt: 362 + Private: 209), TrueNat based testing labs : 393 (Govt: 367 + Private: 26) and CBNAAT based testing labs : 85 (Govt: 32 + Private: 53).

Testing is also being ramped up. As many as 2,10,292 samples have been tested in the last 24 hours. The total number of samples tested, as on date, is 86,08,654.

The National Blood Transfusion Council, under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has issued the Second Interim Guidance to Conduct Blood Transfusion Services safely in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting to review the planning and preparations for vaccination against COVID-19, as and when the vaccine is available.

The Prime Minister noted that vaccination of India’s vast and diverse population would need to factor in issues including those related to management of medical supply chains, prioritization of at-risk populations, coordination between different agencies involved in the process, as well as the role of private sector and civil society in this national endeavour.

He enunciated four guiding principles that would form the foundation of this national effort: first, that vulnerable groups should be identified and prioritized for early vaccination, for example doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, non-medical frontline corona warriors, and vulnerable people among the general population; second, that vaccination of “anyone, anywhere” should take place, i.e., without imposition of any domicile related restrictions for getting the vaccine; third, that vaccination must be affordable and universal – no person should be left behind; and fourth, that the entire process from production to vaccination should be monitored and supported in real time with the use of technology.

The PM directed officials to evaluate in a broad manner available technology options that can form the backbone of the national endeavor to vaccinate all in the most efficient and timely manner. He said that detailed planning for such large scale vaccination should be undertaken immediately.

The current status of vaccine development efforts were also reviewed at the meeting. The Prime Minister highlighted India’s commitment to play an enabling role in the vaccination efforts against Covid-19. (eom)

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