The Indian health ministry’s internal data showed that the country has a capacity of 37,618 isolation beds, 9,512 intensive care unit beds and 8,432 ventilators as of Tuesday to tackle the crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, reported The Hindu BusinessLine.
On Wednesday morning, the Union health ministry confirmed that 562 people have been infected with Covid-19 in the country. Of these, 512 are active cases. Nine patients have died due to the virus, according to the ministry’s latest update. The death of a 10th person, in Tamil Nadu, has not yet been confirmed by the Centre.
The Indian Council of Medical Research’s latest study, published on Monday, said that India needed to be prepared for an extended lockdown and continued self-isolation as Covid-19 cases are likely to increase over two more years. “We will rapidly need to upgrade its health infrastructure if the situation worsens as cases surge in a short time,” Tarun Bhatnagar, co-author of the study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, and a member of the National Task Force against Covid-19 told the newspaper.
The Indian Express had reported on Sunday that data collated as of March 17 showed that there was one isolation bed for 84,000 people, and one quarantine bed for every 36,000 Indians. Following the outbreak, the data showed that one doctor was available per 11,600 Indians, and one hospital bed can be availed by 1,826 people.
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The ICMR study said that 46% cases may escape detection at airports due to incubation period. It added that screening would not include more than half of those infected due to lack of symptoms, and not being aware of exposure. Therefore, there was a need to track post-travel symptoms among people.
A 21-day nationwide lockdown has been imposed in an effort to contain the virus. Balram Bhargav, the head of ICMR, explained that lockdowns were important as it would provide enough time to understand that India will be able to contain the virus through self-isolation. “We will study the situation till March 31 to take further decisions,” he added.