From Our Bureau                       

30th APRIL 2020

A total of 33,610 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country so far and the death toll mounted to 1,075 on Thursday.  As many as 8,373 persons have been cured with a recovery rate of 24.9 per cent, according to the latest update from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Earlier in the day, the MoHFW said that so far, a total of 8,324 people have been cured. This takes our total recovery rate to 25.19 percent. The total number of confirmed cases is now 33,050. Since Wednesday, an increase of 1,718 has been noted in the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in India.

Analysing the deaths so far, the Ministry observed that the case fatality rate is 3.2 percent, of which 65 percent are males and 35 percent are females. Looking at the age distribution, less than 45 years make up for 14 percent; between 45 – 60 year age group account for 34.8 percent; 51.2 percent fall in the category of more than 60 years, whereas 42 percent belong to the age group of 60-75 years, 9.2 percent account for above 75 years category and those with co-morbidities form 78 percent.

Analysis of doubling rate across the country has revealed that the national average is 11 days presently vis-a-vis 3.4 days before lockdown. States/Union Territories whose doubling rate is better than the national average are as follows: States/UTs having doubling rate between 11 days to 20 days include Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Punjab. Those having doubling rate between 20 days to 40 days are Karnataka, Ladakh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Kerala. States/UTs like Assam, Telangana, Chattisgarh, and Himachal Pradesh have a doubling rate of more than 40 days.

Through a graded, pre-emptive and pro-active approach, Government of India is taking several steps along with the States/UTs for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19. These are being regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level.

With the aim to ensure that non-COVID health services are ensured in all States/UTs, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, has written to the Health Ministers of all the States/UTs to ensure assured and uninterrupted blood donation and transfusion services for people with blood disorders such as Thalassemia, Haemophilia and Sickle Cell Anaemia.

States are also advised to ensure that all health facilities, especially in the private sector, remain functional and provide critical services so that such patients who need these critical services do not face any difficulty. States are also informed that it is noticed that many hospitals in the private sector are hesitant to provide critical services like dialysis, blood transfusion, chemotherapy and institutional deliveries to their regular patients, which is not acceptable.

States/UTs are advised that as per the guidelines issued on 15th April, 2020 by the Ministry of Home Affairs, all health services should remain functional during the lockdown period. The movement of service providers may be facilitated, especially for those working in the private sector. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also issued a detailed guideline with Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for dialysis on 7th April, 2020 as well as guidelines for blood donation and transfusion on 9th April, 2020.

A guidance note of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been issued on 20th April, 2020 to enable the delivery of essential health services during the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes providing essential services for Reproductive and Child Health (RCH), immunization, communicable diseases such as TB, leprosy and vector-borne diseases, as well as non-communicable diseases such as cancer and dialysis.

States/UTs are also advised to follow the guidelines regarding COVID-19 testing issued by ICMR on 17th April, 2020. The protocol should be widely disseminated among healthcare service providers and that testing for COVID-19 should be as per protocol.

Healthcare service providers need to take necessary precautions for personal protection and use PPE rationally as per the 24th March, 2020 guidelines of the Health Ministry. Guidelines for infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities should also be widely disseminated in public and private healthcare institutions.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also issued guidelines on 20th April, 2020 regarding measures to be undertaken if a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case is detected in a non-COVID health facility.

States/UTs are also advised that quick resolution of grievances on denial of critical services especially on account of insistence on testing should also be ensured. Measures should be taken in consultation with healthcare fraternity so that their uncertainty is reduced, and clinics and hospitals remain functional. (eom)

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