The number of people who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in India rose to 1,024 on Sunday evening, according to the Ministry of Health’s latest figures. The toll rose by two since the morning and is now 27.
Earlier in the day, Joint Health Secretary Lav Agarwal at a press briefing said that India has reported six deaths and a total of 106 cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in the last 24 hours.
Agarwal said the government is monitoring the situation closely to identify the emerging hotspots for the Covid-19 infection in the country. “Rigorous cluster containment strategy is being implemented on all such hotspots to contain the pandemic,” he said.
The Centre is also working in close coordination with the various state governments to create “standalone dedicated” hospitals or isolation blocks for coronavirus patients in order to reduce the chances of the infection from spreading to other patients, he added. He said the process for this has already started.
“High risk cases, which include age or contact history as criteria and the cases found to be serious are monitored,” Agarwal said. However, he said the figures for the number of patients who are on ventilators is not immediately available with the government.
The government has created ten focus groups to give guidance to all healthcare professionals in tackling the pandemic, the health ministry official said. The focus areas include quarantine facilities, isolation beds and medical emergency management among other factors.
As the country entered the sixth day of a countrywide lockdown announced by the Centre to break the chain of infection, the health ministry said the government, along with the Indian Railways, is using 1.25 lakh wagons to transport essential commodities such as food grains, sugar, salt, coal and petroleum to all corners. “The decision to impose the lockdown may seem strict to us right now, but it is extremely crucial in protecting lives,” Agarwal said.
Meanwhile, India has conducted a total of 34,931 tests for the coronavirus as of Sunday, Indian Council of Medical Research official Raman R Gangakhedkar said at the press briefing. “Capacity utilisation in the Indian Council of Medical Research network is around 30%,” he added. “ We have increased some labs, 113 have been made functional and 47 private labs have been given approval.”
The Centre on Sunday asked all states and Union Territories to seal their borders, as migrant labourers attempted to return home on foot. The Centre said adequate arrangements should be made for shelter and food for the migrants in their places of work itself.
Globally, the total number of coronavirus cases, according to an estimate by Johns Hopkins University, rose to over 6.6 lakh and 30,847 people have been killed due to it as of Sunday morning. Of these, Italy has accounted for over 10,000 deaths, and Spain for nearly 6,000.