At a time when the COVID-19 curve in India is getting steeper with every passing day, the Union Health Ministry gave a glimmer of hope on Thursday when they announced that around 20 per cent coronavirus patients have recovered so far in the country.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, joint secretary of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Lav Agarwal said: “With 1,409 new cases, there are 21,393 positive cases in India now. So far, 4,257 people have recovered including 388 people who recovered yesterday (Wednesday).”
Meanwhile, 78 districts in 23 states and union territories have not reported any fresh cases during the last 14 days along with 12 districts that did not report a fresh case in the last 28 days or more.
“India has 12 districts that did not report a fresh case in the last 28 days or more. There are now 78 districts in 23 States/UTs, which have not reported any fresh cases during the last 14 days,” Agarwal added.
Speaking at the same press conference, Dr Balram Bhargava, director general, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that though it is difficult to ascertain when the peak will arrive but he believes that the Centre has been able to flatten the curve.
“It is very difficult to tell that peak will arrive by 3rd May or when it will come. But it is very stable. The positivity rate has been 4.5 per cent throughout; one can say we have been able to flatten the curve. However, difficult to predict it (peak),” said Bhargava said.
Meanwhile, CK Mishra, environment secretary and chairman of one of the empowered committees, said that despite the surge in COVID-19 testing in the country there is further need to scale up testing in India.
According to Mishra, 14,915 tests were done across the country on March 23 and by April 22, more than 5 lakh tests had taken place.
“If a rough calculation is done it is about 33 times in 30 days. This is not enough and we need to ramp testing in this country,” said Mishra.
“In last 30 days of lockdown, we have been able to cut transmission, minimise spread, consistently ramp up our testing & utilize this time to prepare ourselves for future,” added the environment secretary.
Till Thursday evening, India’s total number of coronavirus positive cases rose to 21,700, which includes 16,689 active cases, 686 deaths, and 4,324 recoveries.