COVID-19 lockdown reduced doubling rate of cases; India doing better than many nations on outcome ratio: Govt

COVID-19 lockdown reduced doubling rate of cases; India doing better than many nations on outcome ratio: Govt

The Union Health Ministry on Friday asserted that the lockdown in India has reduced the doubling rate of coronavirus COVID-19 cases. Addressing a press conference, Ministry of Health Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said that before lockdown the doubling rate of cases was three days and for the last 7 days the doubling rate has been 6.2 days.

He also added that in 19 states and UTs, the doubling rate is less than the national average. The average growth factor of cases has been 1.2 from April 1, while during March 15-31, the average growth factor was 2.1

Speaking on the cases and deaths so far, Agarwal stated, "A total of 13,387 COVID-19 cases have been reported so far. In the last 24 hours, 1,007 cases and 23 deaths have taken place. 1,749 people have been cured."

The Joint Secretary also said that India is doing better than many countries on outcome ratio. This is defined as the ratio of the number of COVID-19 recoveries versus deaths. He added, "We are making efforts to further improve this ratio."

A total of 3,19,400 COVID-19 tests have been conducted so far and 28,340 tests were conducted on April 16, said the Health Ministry. Of the 28,340 tests done, 23,932 conducted at 183 labs under ICMR network, rest done at 80 private labs said the Health Ministry. It said that in India, 1,919 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals with 1.73 lakh isolation beds and 21,800 ICU beds are being readied.

Agarwal stated that five lakh rapid antibody testing kits are being distributed to states and districts where high case burden has been observed.

Group of Ministers held a meeting on Friday to chalk out the further direction with respect to the lockdown, Agarwal added. "Efforts of S&T institutes in the areas of diagnosis, vaccines, drugs, hospital equipment accessories and general wellness have been reviewed," he added.

Speaking on vaccines, he said, "We are also working on viral sequencing and vaccine development. India is working with global partners so that effective vaccines can be developed. We are trying to speed up these processes." He added, "We need to also work on the development of effective drugs, there is no proven drug now. India's traditional knowledge in boosting immunity is also being taken into account, as part of a multi-pronged effort."