AMN /WEB DESK
The total number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in India has risen to 694, including 16 deaths, the Health Ministry said in its latest bulletin today.
Among these, 44 patients have recovered so far. Addressing a press briefing earlier, Lav Aggarwal, Health Ministry Joint Secretary, said that the rate at which the numbers are increasing appears to be relatively stablising.
“However, this is only the initial trend,” he said. With India undergoing a 21-day lockdown till April 14, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced a economic package worth Rs. 1.7 lakh crore to help those who have been affected directly due to the nationwide lockdown.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in a virtual summit of G-20 leaders, chaired by Saudi King Salman, to discuss the coronavirus pandemic.
No evidence of community transmission of Covid -19 India: Govt
Union Government today said that there was no concrete evidence of community transmission of Coronavirus in the country. It also said that the number of confirmed cases are increasing but the rate at which the numbers are increasing are stabilizing now.
Briefing media in New Delhi today, Joint Secretary in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Lav Agarwal said, stabilization in increasing number is only the initial trend and collective effort of people to practice social distancing measures will continue this trend and the country will come out from the problem of COVID-19. He said, social distancing is the only way that can break the chain of transmission. Mr Agarwal said, more than 64 thousand people are under surveillance and one or two cases does not prove that it has spread to the community level.
The Joint Secretary said, Cabinet Secretary held a meeting today with the Chief Secretaries of States to review the prepaaredness in terms of arrangements of hospitals to deal with the current situation. The Cabinet Secretary requested the Chief Secretaries to ensure the proper supply of essential items.
Mr. Agarwal said, 17 states have started work to build dedicated COVID hospitals and online training for the Doctors has been started with the help of AIIMS, Delhi to bring uniformity in the treatment. He also said, orientation programme and training related to prevention and control measures, community survillence, public health services at the community level has been started for the field workers like ASHA and Aaganwadi workers.
Joint Secretary in Home Ministry Punya Salila Srivastava said that the government has asked the States and Union Territories to ensure proper supply, production and distribution of essential items. She said, Home Ministry is continuously monitoring the situation and States and Union Territories have notified their helpline for the COVID-19. She said, special arrangements have been made by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to deliver the essential goods in the North-Eastern region. Ms. Srivastava said, States and Union Territories have been requested to provide the shelter and food to the migrant labourers.
Head Scientist of Indian Council of Medical Research Raman Gangakhedkar said, approval has been given to the private laboratories for testing but as of now testing has not been started as private labs are procuring the kits.
Meanwhile, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 climbed to 649 including 47 foreign nationals. Health and Family Welfare Ministry has confirmed that 43 patients have been cured and discharged and 13 deaths have been reported in the country so far.