New Delhi: The number of coronavirus cases in the country could have increased to 8.2 lakh by April 15 had India not implemented a lockdown and other containment measures, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday.
Addressing a daily briefing on the coronavirus situation of the country, Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said early preemptive action has been taken to identify COVID-19 hotspots, along with implementation of other containment measures.
"According to a statistical analysis by us, India would have registered a 41 per cent cumulative rise in the number of cases, taking the total to 2.08 lakh on April 11 and 8.2 lakh by April 15 had there been no lockdown or other containment measures," the officer said.
With containment measures but no lockdown, the number of cases could have risen to 1.2 lakh till April 15 and to 45,370 on April 11 at 28.9 per cent growth rate, he said.
On Friday, when asked about an 'ICMR report' that stated India would have had up to 8.2 lakh COVID-19 positive cases by April 15 had it not been for the 21-day nationwide lockdown, Agarwal had said there was no such report.
The question on the purported 'ICMR report' was asked on Friday after MEA's Secretary (West) Vikas Swarup, while briefing foreign media, had reportedly said that without the lockdown, there could have been 8,20,000 cases by 15 April.
He had cited an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study for the figure of 8.2 lakh.
Agarwal on Saturday clarified that there was no such ICMR report which gave the 8.2 lakh figure, but a "statistical analysis by us".
Stressing on the importance of social distancing, lockdown and other efforts in the battle against coronavirus, Agarwal said, "Since we started promoting social distancing and implemented lockdown from March 25 along with other containment measures, there has been a decrease in cases and we have 7,447 coronavirus cases till date."