From Our Bureau

13TH JUNE 2020

A total of 3,08,997 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country so far and the death toll rose to 8,884 on Saturday.

During the last 24 hours, a total of 7,135 COVID-19 patients have been cured. Thus, so far, a total of 1,54,330 patients have been cured of COVID-19. The recovery rate is 49.95 percent amongst COVID-19 patients. Presently, there are 1,45,779 active cases and all are under  medical supervision.

ICMR‘s testing capacity for detecting the novel Corona virus in infected persons is continuously being ramped up. The number of government labs has been increased to 642 and private labs has been increased to 243 (a total of 885). In the last 24 hours, 1,43,737 samples were tested. The total number of samples tested thus far is 55,07,182.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued an updated clinical management protocol for COVID-19.  The new protocol provides for the management of COVID-19 cases based on the clinical severity of mild, moderate or severe. Infection prevention and control practices have also been specified according to the three stages of severity. These guidelines also specify investigational therapies for a defined sub-group of patients. However, an informed and shared decision making is essential before prescribing any of these therapies.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a detailed meeting with senior ministers and officials to review India’s response to COVID-19 pandemic on Saturday. The meeting reviewed the national level status and preparation in the context of the pandemic. The meeting also took stock of situation in different States and Union Territories including Delhi.

The meeting was attended by the Home Minister, the Health Minister, Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Health Secretary, DG, ICMR and other related conveners of the Empowered Groups.

Dr. Vinod Paul, Member NITI, Convenor of the Empowered Group of Medical Emergency Management Plan, made a detailed presentation on the current status and likely scenario of COVID-19 cases in the medium term.

It was observed that out of the total cases two-thirds are in 5 States with an overwhelming proportion of cases in big cities. In view of the challenges being faced, particularly by the large cities, it was decided to augment testing as well as the number of beds and services to effectively handle the peak surge of daily cases.

The Prime Minister took cognizance of the recommendations of the Empowered Group on city- and district-wise requirements of hospital beds/isolation beds which will be required and instructed Health Ministry officials to undertake emergency planning in consultation with the States/UTs. He also advised the Ministry to ensure suitable preparations in view of the start of the Monsoon season.

The present and emerging scenario of the COVID-19 disease in the capital was discussed and the projections for next 2 months were deliberated. Prime Minister suggested that the Home Minister and the Health Minister should convene an emergency meeting with Lt Governor, Chief Minister of Government of NCT Delhi in the presence of all senior officials of Government of India, Government of Delhi and officials of Municipal Corporations of Delhi to plan a coordinated and comprehensive response to handle the challenge posed by rising cases of COVID-19.

It was noted and appreciated that there have been many instances of outstanding work done by several states, districts and cities in containing and controlling the outbreak successfully. These success stories and best practices should be widely disseminated to provide inspiration and innovative ideas to others. (eom)

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