On Tuesday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan stated that the doubling time of COVID-19 cases has now dropped to 12.2 days from 10.9 days, highlighting the requirement for enhanced surveillance and contact-tracing in the wake of migrants and ex-pats returning home.
In the last 24 hours, 3,604 fresh cases were added up and the number of confirmed cases counted to 70,756. Among these 22,455 people have recovered and 2,293 have decreased. Vardhan stated that the fatality rate was 3.2%. On the other hand, the recovery rate was progressively increasing and stood at 31.74%.
There had been a decline in doubling time in the previous week after some states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and the national capital of Delhi reported a considerable hike in cases. The health ministry had reported doubling rate of 10.2 days on May 7. Reviewing the considerable change in doubling time, the health ministry had deputed central teams to these areas to bolster containment measures and aid state governments in containing the transmission of the virus.
Assessing measures for the management of COVID-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh with MoS for Health Ashwini Choubey, he asked the states and UTs to focus on surveillance, testing, contact-tracing and timely treatment of all the returnees.
Vardhan recommended to make the Aarogya Setu mobile application mandatory for all the returnees for better surveillance and appropriate medical interventions, the ministry said.
As per the Health Ministry, the death toll has increased to 2,293 due to COVID-19 and the positive cases escalated to 70,756, reporting an increase of 87 deaths and 3,604 cases in the last 24 hours till Tuesday 8 am.”While the doubling time in the past 14 days was 10.9, it has improved to 12.2 in the last three days,” Vardhan was quoted as saying in a statement.
As on Monday, out of total active cases, 2.37 per cent patients are in ICU, 0.41 per cent on ventilators and 1.82 per cent on oxygen support, he said.
The minister stated the testing capacity has climbed to 1 lakh tests per day with 347 government laboratories and 137 private labs.
“Cumulatively, 17,62,840 tests have been done so far for COVID-19. Whereas, 86,191 samples were tested on Monday,” he said.
The Centre, states and UTs are taking cohesive efforts to fight the novel coronavirus and “this provides us the assurance that the country is well-prepared to face any eventuality due to COVID-19”, he said.
The Union health minister has also emphasised on ramping up surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI)/Influenza-Like Illness (ILI), which will aid in detecting any possible hidden infections at primary stage and in its prompt containment.
He appreciated the work done in Uttarakhand for SARI/ILI surveillance and contact-tracing.
Ladakh stated that for non-COVID services it has commenced far-flung areas it has started mobile medical vans. The LG of Ladakh, RK Mathur stated that his administration is keeping doctors and police personnel in reserve to deploy on a rotational basis.
Vardhan mentioned that as the using tobacco is pretty high in Ladakh, spitting in public places needs to be prohibited as per the guidelines issued earlier.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur stated that Ayurvedic immunity boosters have been given to front-line health workers, police personnel and paramilitary forces. To prepare barbers and salon operators for post-lockdown, Sirmaur district is providing training to them.
The Jammu and Kashmir LG Girish Chandra Murmu and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat also attended the meeting.