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Coronavirus updates: Government says 37000-78000 lives saved due to Covid-19 lockdown

Death toll stands at 3,583 while total number of cases climb to 1,18,447; Maharashtra fixes price cap on private hospitals

By PTI in New Delhi
  • Published 22.05.20, 11:53 AM
  • Updated 22.05.20, 8:39 PM
  • 6 mins read
  •  
Medics conduct Covid-19 screening of residents at a camp, during the ongoing nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, at Dharavi in Mumbai, Friday, May 22, 2020. PTI

The number of Covid-19 cases averted due to the lockdown is in the range of 14-29 lakh, while the number of lives saved is between 37,000 and 78,000, the government said on Friday citing various studies, and asserted that the unprecedented shutdown has paid rich dividends in the fight against the pandemic.

The lockdown in India has been a timely, graded, proactive and pre-emptive public health measure to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and has been part and parcel of the government's overall strategy, Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, and Chairman, Empowered Group 1, said at a media briefing on the Covid-19 situation.

The government imposed the nationwide lockdown from March 25 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and it is currently in its fourth phase.

Like the number of cases, the growth rate of number of Covid-19 deaths too has fallen significantly due to the lockdown, marking a notable difference between pre-lockdown and post-lockdown situations, he said.

At the briefing, Pravin Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation gave model-based estimates on Covid-19 cases and deaths which have been prevented due to the lockdown.

As per Boston Consulting Group's model, the lockdown saved between 1.2 lakh and 2.1 lakh lives, while the number of Covid-19 cases averted is between 36 lakh and 70 lakh, he said.

According to Public Health Foundation of India, nearly 78,000 lives have been saved due to the lockdown, Srivastava said.

Citing a model by two independent economists, he said that around 23 lakh Covid-19 cases and 68,000 deaths have been averted due to the lockdown.

Some independent experts, including retired scientists, have calculated that around 15.9 lakh cases and 51,000 deaths have been averted due to the lockdown, Srivastava said.

A joint study by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation and the Indian Statistical Institute found that around 20 lakh COVID-19 cases and 54,000 deaths were averted due to lockdown, he said.

The number of Covid-19 cases averted due to the lockdown is in the range of 14-29 lakh, while the number of lives saved is between 37,000 and 78,000, the official said.

We are fully confident that the lockdown, with full public cooperation, has reaped rich dividends, Srivastava said.

The strong defence of the lockdown, comes a day after the health ministry said the period of lockdown has been gainfully utilized to ramp up the health infrastructure, with around 3,027 dedicated Covid-19 hospitals and 7,013 care centres being readied across the country to fight the disease.

The announcement on Thursday came after some media reports questioned the country's preparedness to deal with the highly infectious disease.

"There are reports in a section of the media about some decisions of the government regarding the lockdown implementation and response to COVID-19 management. The period of the lockdown has been gainfully utilised to ramp up the health infrastructure in the country," the ministry had said.

Addressing the press briefing on Friday, joint secretary in the health ministry Lav Agarwal said 48,534 Covid-19 patients, which is about 41 per cent of the total cases, have recovered so far. As many as 3,234 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours, he said'

The Covid-19 mortality rate has dropped from 3.13 per cent on May 19 to 3.02 per cent as focus was on containment measures andclinical management of cases, Agarwal said.

An ICMR official said 27,55,714 tests for Covid-19 have been conducted till 1 pm Friday with 1,03,829 tests done in one day. Over 1 lakh tests for Covid-19 have been done each day for the last four days, the official said.

The growth rate of novel coronavirus cases witnessed a steep decline from Apr 4 when lockdown put a brake on the speed of increase of cases, V K Paul said.

The number of Covid-19 cases would have risen exponentially had the lockdown not been implemented, he said, adding that the doubling rate of cases was 3.4 days when the lockdown started and it is 13.3 days at present.

The Covid-19 outbreak in India has remained confined to limited areas with 80 per cent of active cases in just five states, Paul said

He said around 80 pc of Covid-19 deaths have been in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Delhi.

Migrant workers from other states wait in long queue to get their name registered so that they can board a train back to their villages during the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus in New Delhi, Thursday, May 21, 2020.
Migrant workers from other states wait in long queue to get their name registered so that they can board a train back to their villages during the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus in New Delhi, Thursday, May 21, 2020. AP

Record jump of 6,088 cases in 24 hours, tally now 1,18,447 

The country has recorded the biggest single-day spike of 6,088 Covid-19 cases, while the death toll due to the virus has climbed to 3,583, the Union health ministry said on Friday.

The number of coronavirus cases now stands at 1,18,447 in the country.

There has been an increase of 148 deaths and 6,088 cases since Thursday 8am, according to the health ministry.

The number of active Covid-19 cases stood at 66,330, while 48,533 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, it said.

"Thus, around 40.97 per cent patients have recovered so far," a senior health ministry official said.

The total confirmed cases includes foreigners.

Of the 148 deaths reported since Thursday morning, 64 were in Maharashtra, 24 in Gujarat, 18 from Delhi, 11 from Uttar Pradesh, seven from Tamil Nadu, six from West Bengal, five from Telangana, four from Rajasthan, three from Madhya Pradesh, two from Jammu and Kashmir and one each from Bihar, Odisha, Haryana and Punjab.

The death toll reached 45 in Telangana, 41 in Karnataka and 39 in Punjab.

Jammu and Kashmir has reported 20 fatalities due to the disease, Haryana has 15 deaths while Bihar has registered 11 and Odisha seven deaths.Kerala and Assam have reported four deaths each so far.

Jharkhand, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh each have recorded three Covid-19 fatalities each, while Meghalaya and Uttarakhand have reported one fatality each, according to the ministry data.

More than 70 per cent of the deaths are due to comorbidities, the ministry said.

The highest number of confirmed cases in the country are from Maharashtra at 41,642 followed by Tamil Nadu at 13,967, Gujarat at 12,905, Delhi at 11,659 Rajasthan at 6,227, Madhya Pradesh at 5,981 and Uttar Pradesh at 5,515, according to the health ministry data updated in the morning.

The number of Covid-19 cases has gone up to 3,197 in West Bengal, 2,647 in Andhra Pradesh and 2,028 in Punjab.

It has risen to 1,982 in Bihar, 1,699 in Telangana, 1,605 in Karnataka,1,449 in Jammu and Kashmir and 1,10 in Odisha.

Haryana has reported 1,031 coronavirus infection cases so far while Kerala has 690 cases. A total of 290 people have been infected with the virus in Jharkhand and 217 in Chandigarh.

Assam has reported 203 cases, Tripura has 173, Himachal Pradesh has 152, Uttarakhand has 146, Chhattisgarh has 128, and Goa has registered 52 cases so far.

Ladakh has reported 44 Covid-19 cases, while Andaman and Nicobar Islands has registered 33 infections.

Manipur has 25 cases, Puducherry has registered 20 cases and Meghalaya has 14 cases. Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Dadar and Nagar Haveli have reported a case each till how.

"1,620 cases are being reassigned to states," the ministry said on its website, adding, "Our figures are being reconciled with the ICMR."

State-wise distribution is subject to further verification and reconciliation, it said.

NGO volunteers distribute face masks while making people aware against Covid-19 on a road, in Agartala, May 22, 2020.
NGO volunteers distribute face masks while making people aware against Covid-19 on a road, in Agartala, May 22, 2020. PTI

New drug for patients at Pune hospital  

At least 25 Covid-19 patients, who are in a semi-critical condition at Pune's government-run Sassoon General Hospital, will be administered tocilizumab, a drug which has proven effective in treating the infection, an official said on Friday.

The new drug, an injection which costs around Rs 20,000, will be given to 25 patients in the first phase and depending on the results, the Pune Municipal Corporation will decide on its further use, municipal commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad said.

A special task force of specialist doctors, set up under the chairmanship of Dr D. B. Kadam, recommended tocilizumab for Covid-19 patients in case their condition worsens, he said.

"After the ethical team gave approval for the use of tocilizumab, we started procuring it for 25 patients in the first phase," Gaikwad said.

The civic body had received protocols for using the drug.

Maharashtra fixes price cap on private hospitals

The Maharashtra government has come out with three slabs on per day charges on treatment of Covid-19 patients in private and charitable hospitals and also decided to regulate rates for 80 per cent of the operational bed capacity in these medical facilities.

Non-government health care providers in Maharashtra have been asked to accommodate maximum number of patients with 80 per cent of the operational bed capacity to be regulated by rates sanctioned by the government.

Fresh guidelines issued by the state government on Thursday said the fee regulation decision applies to both isolation and non-isolation beds in private and charitable hospitals.

This means 80 per cent of beds in isolation and non- isolation wards available with any healthcare provider will be regulated by the state government/municipal commissioner/district collector.

Healthcare providers may charge their own rates to the remaining 20 per cent beds, according to a government notification.

There will be no difference in quality of treatment in 80 per cent and 20 per cent categories, it said.

For COVID-19 patients, there will be three rate slabs on per day basis - Rs 4,000, Rs7,500 and Rs 9,000 - based on the category of wards they have been admitted in, said the notification.

For non-COVID patients, hospitals which have agreements with insurance companies will follow the rate of lowest slab irrespective of the category of beds occupied by the patient, it said.

Uber resumes operations in Karnataka

Uber said on Friday it has resumed its operations in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, and Hubballi, in compliance with lockdown guidelines issued by the government.

Riders in Bengaluru can book UberAuto, UberGO, Premier, Intercity, Hourly Rental, UberXL, Access, and Assist on their Uber App.

UberAuto, UberGO, Premier, and Intercity are available in Mysuru, UberGO and Intercity services in Mangaluru, and UberAuto services in Hubballi.

Uber Intercity operations will be limited to travel with necessary authorisation and within state boundaries and permissible zones only, the company said in a statement.

Uber said it has launched comprehensive measures such as the distribution of PPE kits, including masks, sanitisers and disinfectants to drivers and the introduction of mandatory educational video courses for them.