From Our Bureau                       

12th MAY 2020

A total of 70,756 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country so far and the death toll mounted to 2,293 on Tuesday. As many as 22,455 patients have been cured so far. In the last 24 hours, 3,604 new confirmed cases were reported and 1,538 patients were discharged. The total number of active cases now is 46,008.

While the doubling time in the past 14 days was 10.9, it has improved to 12.2 in the last three days. The fatality rate is 3.2 percent and recovery rate is pegged at 31.74 percent. As of now, there are 2.37 percent active COVID-19 patients in ICU, 0.41 percent on ventilators and 1.82 percent on oxygen support.

The testing capacity has increased in the country and it is 1,00,000 tests per day with 347 Government laboratories and 137 private laboratories. Cumulatively, 17, 62,840 tests have been done so far for COVID-19, including 86,191 samples on Monday.

Meanwhile, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, held a high level meeting with Girish Chandra Murmu, Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, R. K. Mathur, Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Ladakh, Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, and Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh.

This is a part of series of personal interactions with various State Health Ministers and Collectors of Red Zone districts to take stock of preparedness and measures for management of COVID-19 in the States/UTs.

“Appropriate measures are being taken to combat COVID-19 and with the cohesive efforts of both Centre and States/Union Territories, adequately growing numbers of dedicated COVID hospitals, Isolation & ICU beds and Quarantine Centres being identified and developed so far provides us the assurance that the country is well-prepared to face any eventuality due to COVID-19,” he observed.

The Central Government is also extending  support by providing sufficient number of masks & Personal Protective Equipments, etc., to the States/ UTs / Central Institutions, he added.

After a brief presentation on the status of COVID-19 cases in the States/UTs and its management, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “In view of the surge of returning migrant labourers, States/UTs need to focus on more effective surveillance, contact tracing, adequate testing and timely treatment of all the returnees. This also includes the ones that shall be returning from abroad.”

Various States/UTs outlined the preparations being made for their testing at the point of disembarking, quarantining them, testing and further treatment.  Downloading of Aarogya Setu should be made compulsory for all returnees for better contact surveillance and suitable medical interventions, the Union Minister suggested.

Dr Harsh Vardhan appreciated the work done for SARI/ILI surveillance and the work undertaken by IDSP for contact tracing and monitoring in Uttarakhand. The Lt. Governor of UT of Ladakh stated that they have started mobile medical vans to reach to far flung areas to provide non-COVID essential services. They are also working integrally with the Panchayats and community elders for awareness generation and confidence building. Dr Harsh Vardhan pointed out that as the tobacco usage is fairly high in Ladakh, spitting in public places needs to be banned as per the guidelines issued earlier.

Sirmaur district in Himachal Pradesh is providing training with COVID-19 appropriate behaviour to barbers and salon operators to prepare them for the post-lockdown operations. Ayurvedic immunity boosters have also been provided to frontline health workers, police personnel and paramilitary forces, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur stated. (eom)  

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