New Delhi: Ever since the government has relaxed lockdown in green and ornage zones, COVID-19 or coronavirus cases are doubling at a faster pace across the country. On May 3, (the last day of the second phase of the lockdown), India had 39,980 positive COVID-19 cases but today on May 10, the cases mounted to 62,939. Besides, the death toll also witnessed a sharp rise within the week from 1,301 to 2,109. Also Read - Nepal Airport Under Renovation Amid Coronavirus Lockdown
However, the Health Ministry has claimed that fatality rate in the country and the recovery rate of coronavirus patients are very good indicators. “Our fatality rate continues to be around 3.3 per cent and the recovery rate has climbed up to 29.9 per cent. These are very good indicators. The doubling rate for the last 3 days has been about 11 days, for last 7 days it has been 9.9 days,” said Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister. Also Read - Bangladesh Govt Decides Not to Extend COVID-19 Shutdown
Lets us have a complete look at the important highlights of the week so far: Also Read - COVID-19 Cases Cross 1.6 Lakh-mark; Death Toll Above 4,600; Shah Speaks to CMs Over Lockdown Extension | Key Points
On May 7, the Centre said that there is no need to test mild, very mild and moderate cases before they are discharged. Only severe cases will be tested. Experts believe that there might be a sharp spurt in the number of cases in June-July, hence, this change in the policy will enable hospitals to discharge patients easily.
On May 6, the Narendra Modi-led government earmarked 215 railway stations for the deployment of railways’ isolation coaches to be used as ‘COVID Care Centres’ for suspected or confirmed patients categorised as mild or very mild cases. These stations will be deployed across 23 states and Union Territories.
A day after, the government carried out massive operation to bring back stranded Indians from 12 countries —the UAE, the UK, the US, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman. The government is expected to run more repatriation flights after May 13. This was said to be Independent India’s largest repatriation mission to bring back its citizens stranded abroad due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Indian Railways operated 302 Shramik special trains to transport over over 3.4 lakh migrant workers, students, pilgrims and tourists stuck across India due to the nationwide lockdown to their home states. A senior Railway Ministry official said that 34 trains were run on Saturday, 53 on Friday and 61 on Thursday from different parts of the city. Shramik special trains were run from May 1 on the request of different state governments.
On May 9, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) announced that it has partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) to develop a fully indigenous vaccine for coronavirus. In a statement, the apex medical body said that the team will use virus strain isolated at ICMR’s National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune to develop the vaccine.
The health ministry claimed that country’s testing capacity for COVID-19 has also been scaled up. Harsh Vardhan informed that around 95,000 tests are being conducted per day and a total 15,25,631 tests have been conducted so far across 332 government and 121 private laboratories.
Yesterday, while interacting with Health Ministers and senior officials of northeast states on the current COVID-19 situation via video conferencing, Harsh Vardhan said that the country is well prepared to face the worst. His remarks come on the heels of a statement made by the director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), who had warned that COVID-19 pandemic in the country may not have peaked yet.
“According to modeling data and the way our cases are increasing, it is likely that peak can come in June and July. But there are many variables and with time only we will know how much they are effective and the effect of extending the lockdown,” said the AIIMS Director.
Despite that, the government is reportedly busy planning required action points. While earlier meetings were organised to discuss about lockdown challenges, the high-level meetings chaired by PM Modi now are focused on post-lockdown activities, said a report published in a leading daily.
The Centre issued fresh “guidelines for restarting manufacturing industries after lockdown”, advising them not to try to achieve high production targets. The guidelines were issued on Saturday to all Chief Secretaries and administrators of Union Territories (UTs) as the 14-day lockdown 3.0 is on and will end on May 17.