Doubling rate of Covid-19 cases in India reduced with imposition of lockdown, says health ministry
The Union Health Ministry said on Friday the rate at which the number of coronavirus cases in the country was becoming double in the last one week was 6.2 days, as against three days before the nationwide lockdown was imposed.
At a daily media briefing about updates on Covid-19 situation, Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal claimed that India has been doing better than many other countries on the outcome ratio, which is the number of recoveries from coronavirus infection versus the number of deaths.
'If 80 per cent of the patients in India are recovering and in 20 per cent cases deaths are being reported, then by that standard India has been doing a little better than many other nations on the outcome ratio,' he said.
'Before lockdown, the doubling rate of coronavirus cases was 3 days. Going by the number of cases in the last seven days, the doubling rate has been 6.2 days. In 19 states and Union Territories the doubling rate is less than the national average,' he said.
The health ministry official also said the average growth factor of cases from April 1 has been 1.2, whereas between March 15 and 31 it was 2.1.
This decline of 40 per cent was due to increase in testing, including that of cases with severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and influenza-like illness (ILI), Agarwal said.
He also informed reporters that 1,919 dedicated Covid-19 hospitals with 1.73 lakh isolation beds and 21,800 ICU beds have been readied till now.
The number of novel coronavirus cases in India rose by 1,007 and 23 deaths were reported in 24 hours, taking the tally of total infections to 13,387 and fatalities to 437, the joint secretary in the health ministry said, adding 1,749 people have been cured of the infection so far, which is 13.06 per cent of the total patients.
Agarwal further informed that five lakh rapid antibody testing kits, which arrived from China on Thursday, are being distributed to states for districts with high case burden.
Head of Epidemiology and Communicable diseases at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar said 3,19,400 COVID-19 tests have been conducted so far in the country.
'Out of these, 28,340 tests were conducted on Thursday, of which 23,932 were done at 183 laboratories under ICMR network and the rest at 80 private labs,' he said.
Agarwal said a Group of Ministers held a meeting on Friday to chalk out a roadmap about the lockdown and reviewed efforts of science and technology institutes in diagnosis, vaccines, drugs, hospital equipment accessories and general wellness.