'Recovery rate improves to 40.32%, lockdown gainfully utilised'
New Delhi, May 21: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Thursday that the period of lockdown has been gainfully utilised to ramp up the health infrastructure in the country.
In a press statement, the Health Ministry said the recovery rate in the country has improved to 40.32 per cent. "There were reports in a section of 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. As on date, 45,299 people have been cured, taking our recovery rate to 40.32 per cent," the statement said.
The ministry said that as on Thursday, a total of 26,15,920 samples have been tested while 10,3532 samples have been tested in the last 24 hours through 555 testing labs (391 in the government sector and 164 private labs).
It also said that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), in collaboration with the Health Ministry and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and with support from the state health departments and key stakeholders including WHO, is conducting a community-based sero-survey to estimate the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Indian population.
It said at least 3,027 Dedicated Covid Hospitals and Covid Health Centres along with 7013 Covid Care Centres have been identified. Additionally, more than 2.81 lakh isolation beds, over 31,250 ICU beds, and 1,09,888 oxygen supported beds have already been identified in the Dedicated Covid Hospitals and COVID Health Centres.
The government has so far supplied 65 lakh PPE coveralls and 101.07 lakh N-95 masks to the states. Nearly 3 lakh PPE coveralls and 3 lakh N-95 masks are now being manufactured per day by domestic producers, which were not produced in the country earlier.
"In addition, the government is consulting and involving epidemiologists actively at all levels in order to combat Covid-19. The National Task Force (NTF) for Covid-19 constituted by the ICMR has held 20 meetings since mid-March and has systematically and effectively contributed towards the scientific and technical response to the pandemic," said the Health Ministry.
It added that a team, including researchers from the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) -- an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) -- has developed a heuristic predictive model for Covid-19 which provides short-term predictions about the evolution of the disease and the medical needs that are generated as a consequence.
The ministry said the Department of Bio-technology and its PSU, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), have announced a Covid-19 Research Consortium Call to support diagnostics, vaccines, novel therapeutics, repurposing of drugs or any other intervention for the control of Covid-19.
The Health Ministry had hitherto maintained that the lockdown was imposed to break the chain of transmission of Covid-19 and it was often asked the rationale behind the lockdown when cases continued to be reported to the tune 4,000 to 5,000 per day.
However, experts at various times have said that the numbers would have spiked exponentially in India sans lockdown, as it has been seen in other parts of the world.