New Delhi, Apr 24: As many as 1,409 new Corona virus cases and 41 deaths were registered on Thursday taking the total number of cases reached to 21,393 while casualties to 68, said Union Ministry of Health.
“As on today, there are 12 districts that did not have a fresh case in the last 28 days or more. Since April 21, 2020 eight new districts are added. These are: Chitradurga (Karnataka), Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), Imphal West (Manipur), Aizawl West (Mizoram), Bhadradari Kothagudem (Telangana), Pilibhit (UP), SBS Nagar (Punjab) and South Goa (Goa)”, said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary of Health Ministry.
He also said that 78 districts from 23 States, union territories have not reported any fresh cases during the last 14 days and added “as of now, 4,257 people have been cured with a recovery rate of 19.89 per cent”. Health Ministry officials also said that testing increased 24 times, while number of new positive cases grew 16 times since lockdown and there is no exponential growth in number of positive cases. Besides, Mr Agarwal, the detailed briefing was attended by Chairman of Empowered group 2, C.K Mishra, who is coordinating availability of hospitals, isolation and quarantine facilities, disease surveillance and testing and critical care training, presented India’s strategy and preparedness in fighting against COVID-19.
He said that during the 30 days of lockdown, the authorities have been able to cut transmission, minimise spread and increase the doubling time of Corona virus and consistently ramp up country’s testing as well as utilise our time to prepare for the future. “One crucial weapon we employed during the 30-day lockdown period is RT-PCR testing. On March 23, we had done 14,915 tests, on April 22, we had done more than 5 lakh tests I.e., around 33 times in 30 days”, he added. Officials also said that number of dedicated hospitals increased 3.5 times since last month; number of isolation beds increased by 3.6 times since last month and these numbers are increasing or being added continuously.
“The growth of COVID-19 cases has been more or less linear, not exponential; this indicates that the strategies we have adopted have succeeded in containing the infection to a particular level”, said Mr Mishra. He also pointed out that despite a 24-fold increase in testing, percentage of positive cases is not rising and percentage of positive cases as a ratio of testing is more or less the same as that a month back. “India has done better than majority of developed countries, with respect to the percentage of test cases yielding positive results. We need to evolve our strategy based on the current position as seen here”, he said and added, “the facts show that our testing strategy has been focused, targeted and continues to expand, this is an evolving strategy based on our learnings”. (UNI)