Each State to Have Separate Hospitals for Coronavirus Patients, Govt Says Community Transmission to be Clearer by Tuesday
Officials said the number of coronavirus infections have increased in the last few days and testing strategy will be calibrated accordingly, but insisted that there would be no “indiscriminate testing”.
For representation: Passengers wear face masks as a precaution against COVID-19 at the Secunderabad Railway Station in Hyderabad on March 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
New Delhi: The government on Sunday said that every state has been asked to designate a separate hospital to treat COVID-19 patients and once again stressed upon the need for breaking the chain of transmission through isolation as the number of cases in India rose to 341.
At a joint press conference by the health ministry and Indian Council of Medical Research, officials said that the number of infections have increased in the last few days and testing strategy will be calibrated accordingly, but insisted that there would be no “indiscriminate testing”.
“We have readied all hospitals. Any people who say we are not testing enough, we can test up to 10,000 a day,” the officials said, and revealed that over 15,000 people have been tested so far.
India had some of the lowest testing rates in the world, but had on Saturday tweaked its protocol to expand testing to people who had not travelled abroad or had no contact history after cases increased. Officials said that the picture on community transmission will be clearer by Tuesday.
But officials on Sunday said the best isolate the people who have come from outside. ICMR Director Balram Bhargava said a lockdown was the most essential aspect to the break the chain of transmission as of now.
The reaction came soon after the Centre and state governments have decided to completely lock down 75 districts across the country where coronavirus cases have been reported.
"Each state has pledged that they will earmark hospitals exclusively to treat COVID-19 patients," Bhargava said. "For example, in Delhi, AIIMS' division of National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Jhajjar (Haryana) -- which has around 800 beds -- would be used only to treat COVID-19 patients."
Bhargava stated that 60 private labs had registered so far to conduct coronavirus tests. The government has given an order to procure 1,200 new ventilators, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said.
Seven people have died in India as yet due to the deadly COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019). The total number of novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 341, including 41 foreign nationals, according to the Health Ministry.
Millions of people across the country stayed indoors, streets wore a deserted look and bare number of vehicles were on the road in an unprecedented shutdown on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal for a 'Janta curfew' on Sunday to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed over 13,000 lives worldwide.
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