Covid-19: Over-prepared to tackle dramatic rise in cases, says health ministry, total crosses 8,300-mark

As India’s coronavirus toll continues to rise, the Union Health Ministry on Sunday said that is “extra-prepared” to deal with the threat of a surge in cases.

Addressing the media via the daily press conference, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Aggarwal said, “We are extra prepared in case of an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases.”

India on Sunday reported an increase of 909 cases, taking the country’s total number of coronavirus cases to 8,356. With 34 deaths since Saturday, India’s Covid-19 death toll has risen to 273.

However, the health ministry said that only 20 per cent of these cases needed ICU support. “On March 29, we had 979 positive cases, now we’ve 8,356 positive cases; of these 20 per cent cases need ICU support. So, today too 1,671 patients need oxygen support and critical care treatment. This figure is important to show that the government is planning things in being over-prepared,” Lav Aggarwal said.

Lav Aggarwal also mentioned that India has nearly 10 times the beds for Covid-19 patients it currently requires. “As per April 9 data, if we needed 1,100 beds we had 85,000 beds. Today when we need 1,671 beds, then we have 1,05,000 beds in the dedicated 601 Covid-19 hospitals,” he said.

The Railways will also be converting 20,000 coaches into isolation wards.

The Union Health Ministry also said that India will be ramping up testing and health infrastructure in the coming days. During the past five days, India has tested an average of 15,747 samples every day out of which 584 were found positive on an average daily, as per data released by the ICMR.

“We are working on an urgent basis to expand capacity for Covid-19 testing in government and private medical colleges across the country,” the health ministry said.

The government has identified 14 institutes including AIIMS and NIMHANS to mentor medical colleges and expand Covid-19 testing capacity.

Source – India Today