Nationwide virus tally crosses 62k, death toll tops 2k

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday said that he does not anticipate a “very worst type of situation” in India like in many developed countries due to COVID-19 pandemic, but the government has made adequate preparations. Holding a review meeting to take stock of the the status of COVID-19 in the northeastern states, Vardhan said the doubling time of coronavirus infection cases in the country for the last three days has been about 11 days and 9.9 days for the last seven days.
“We do not anticipate a very worst type of situation in our country like many other developed countries but still we have prepared the whole country for the worst situation,” he said during the meeting.
On the country’s health infrastructure preparedness, Vardhan said 8,043 hospitals exclusively for COVID treatment having a capacity of about 1,65,991 beds and 1,991 dedicated COVID health centres having a capacity of 1,35,643 beds including isolation and ICU beds have been readied across the country.
He said 7,640 quarantine centres have been created all over the country which may be used for migrant workers and also for keeping people coming from abroad.
Also, the centre has distributed 69 lakh N-95 masks to various state government and 32.76 lakh PPEs have also been distributed across the country.
The testing capacity for COVID-19 has been scaled up in the country with around 95,000 tests per day and a total 15,25,631 tests have been conducted so far across 332 government and 121 private laboratories, he said.
“Yesterday we have tested 84,608 people in the country and our testing capacity is for doing about 95,000 tests per day in the country now,” Vardhan said.
The death toll due to COVID-19 topped 2k mark and the number of cases climbed to 62,700 on Saturday, according to the Health Ministry data.
Stating that of the total cases reported from the country, 17847 people have recovered, Vardhan said the COVID-19 fatality rate in the country is 3.3 per cent and recovery rate is 29.9 per cent.
He also added that (as of yesterday) there are 2.41 per cent present active COVID-19 patients in ICU, 0.38 per cent on ventilators and 1.88 per cent on oxygen support, he said.
The minister, who reviewed the status of COVID-19 in the north-eastern states along with the measures taken for its containment and management, asked the states having orange zone districts to make efforts towards converting them into infection free green zones while asking others to maintain their protective status, a health ministry statement said.
Meanwhile, the nationwide tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases crossed 62,000 and the death toll topped the 2,000 mark after more people tested positive for the deadly virus infection across states, while worries mounted globally about re-emergence of the outbreak after reopening of locked down economies.
The Union Health Minister said the testing capacity for COVID-19 has been ramped up to around 95,000 tests per day and a total of over 15 lakh tests have been conducted so far across hundreds of government and private labs.
But a large number of cases continued to get detected in several states and union territories, barring Kerala and a few smaller states including in North-East that reported nil or single-digit fresh cases.
The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 39,834, while 17,846 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, it said.
On Saturday, fresh cases were reported from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Bihar and Assam, among other places.
Globally, nearly 40 lakh people have tested positive for the deadly virus since its emergence in China last December, while approximately 2.75 lakh people have lost their lives. However, nearly 13 lakh people have recovered too, including nearly 2 lakh in the US and over 1.4 lakh in Germany.
Germany and South Korea are among those countries that have been seen as having successfully avoided large number of deaths by their extensive testing and contact tracing measures. But, worries mounted on Saturday about fresh outbreaks in both the countries following various lockdown relaxations, thus raising the risks associated with reopening of economies.
In India also some relaxations have been given from the nationwide lockdown, which has been in place since March 25 and is scheduled to end on May 17 as of now.
Goa is classified as a green zone with no coronavirus positive case as of now.
Tamil Nadu reported four more deaths during the day, taking its death toll to 44, while 526 more people tested positive for the virus to take its tally to over 6,500.
In the national capital also, 224 new COVID-19 cases were recorded to take its tally to 6,542.
In Delhi, there was also confusion over the death toll as the data from the four hospitals showed more fatalities than the number reported by the Delhi government. Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain said there is no reason to hide anything and not a single case will go unaccounted for, but gave no explanation for the discrepancy.
There has been a mismatch in the numbers of West Bengal also for several days with the state government’s figures being lower than that of the Union Health Ministry.
On the outskirts of the national capital, Noida reported its second COVID-19 death while its total cases rose to 216. The overall figure for Uttar Pradesh also rose.
Rajasthan recorded 76 more cases, while 36 new cases were detected in Karnataka too.
In Bihar, five Bihar Military Police (BMP) personnel tested positive, taking the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 579. In Assam, a dental college student’s test came positive.