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COVID19 cases climb to 918

Maitri Porecha New Delhi | Updated on March 28, 2020 Published on March 28, 2020

ICMR will procure seven lakh US FDA-EUA/CE-IVD/ICMR-NIV Pune-approved RNA extraction kits. Representative image   -  Bloomberg

India readies nearly 4,400 hospitals for pandemic fight

As cases of novel coronavirus (COVID19) rose by 179 since Friday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Saturday said it is conducting community surveillance, rigorous contact tracing and has readied 4,387 dedicated COVID19 hospitals with required facilities to prepare the country to deal with more cases in coming days.

As on Saturday, there were 918 confirmed cases of COVID19, of which 79 are cured, 19 have died and one patient has migrated out. This means that there are 819 active cases of infection in India currently.

According to information accessed from officials of MoHFW by Businessline, as of Saturday, India has over 4 lakh beds available, close to 1 lakh beds are for isolation, of which up to 42,000 beds are for COVID19 confirmed cases and a little over 38,000 beds for COVID19 suspected cases. As on date, nearly 28,000 ICU beds and 14,450 ventilators are demarcated for the pandemic.

At 582, Tamil nadu has the maximum designated hospitals for isolating suspected and confirmed COVID19 patients. Maharashtra has identified 502 hospitals, Andhra Pradesh (499), Haryana (339), Rajasthan (209) and so on. Besides, there are 54 Central government hospitals. “All other states have less than 200 identified hospitals at the moment. Delhi has for instance 30 designated hospitals. We are building capacities day-by-day,” said the MoHFW official.

R Gangakhedkar, head, epidemiology and communicable diseases, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said India has a current capacity to test 12,000 suspect samples per day, and nearly 30 per cent of this capacity is being utilised as of now. “Also, 44 private labs have been approved for testing and 400 samples have been tested by them,” said Gangakhedkar.

He also said that there have been sporadic cases of persons turning positive in instances where samples of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) patients were picked up from the ICU set ups across the country. However, contact tracing could not be carried out in these cases as their case histories are not clear. “But we maintain that this does not indicate community transmission,” Gangakhedkar said.

In a video conference with Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy practitioners (AYUSH), Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed that AYUSH practitioners should provide support to tackle COVID19 but follow guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation in efforts to control virus spread.

Modi underlined the importance of countering and fact checking unsubstantiated claims of AYUSH having cure for the disease, adding that AYUSH scientists, ICMR, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and other research organisations must come together for evidence based research.

Published on March 28, 2020

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