New Delhi: ‘Had Prime Minister Narendra Modi not taken the decision of imposing nationwide lockdown, India would have recorded around 1 lakh coronavirus cases by now’, said the government on Friday.  Speaking to reporters at a press conference, government officials claimed that the spread of coronavirus has been minimised and the recovery rate among COVID-19 patients has almost doubled in the last ten days but testing needs to be ramped up continuously for a decisive battle against the pandemic. Also Read - Defer Vaccination For 9 months After Covid Recovery, Suggests Govt Panel

Lauding the Prime Minister for his his decision to impose the countrywide lockdown, VK Paul, chairman of Empowered Group One and Niti Aayog member said,”The big decision of imposing the nationwide lockdown has proved to be very timely and beneficial. The curve has begun to flatten. Now, the outbreak is under control.” Also Read - Real Madrid Midfielder Toni Kross Tests Positive for Covid, Unavailable for League Decider

He asserted that important turn came on March 23 after the Janata Curfew had happened. Also Read - Local Containment Zones, Aggressive Testing And Correct Information Weapon Against COVID: PM Modi | Highlights

“If we go back to March 21, the cases were doubling in around three days. After March 23, the direction changed and the doubling rate increased to five. By then, we had already put in place travel restrictions and had created an environment of social distancing. There were some disturbances in between and we went back a little. But from April 6, the doubling time started improving”, Paul, the Empowered Group One chairman added.

Notably, the Centre, last month had  set up 11 empowered groups to suggest measures to ramp up healthcare, put the economy back on track and reduce misery of people once the lockdown is lifted.

Besides the timely lockdown, surveillance mechanism played an important role in containing the COVID-19 spread.

Meanwhile, Director of National Centre for Disease Control SK Singh stated that surveillance has been the country’s primary weapon in the fight against novel coronavirus.

“We started our surveillance mechanism even before the first case was reported in India,” said Singh, adding that around 9.45 lakh suspected coronavirus cases are under the surveillance network at present and upon detection of symptoms of the infection, samples are taken from these people for testing.

He said the surveillance network has been set up at district level as well, so that household survey, quarantine and isolation are done as part of cluster containment plan.

Recovery Rate Improves 

At the same presser, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare asserted that India’s recovery rate has improved to 20.57 per cent and a total of 4,748 people have been cured of the deadly virus across the country. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary in the ministry informed that in the last 28 days, 15 districts have had no new case.

India’s Tally Surpasses 23,000-Mark

India witnessed 1,752 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, largest single-day spike, which took the total tally to 23,452, with a death toll of 723. Of the total 23,452,  17,915 COVID-19 cases are active while at least 4,813 people have been cured and discharged so far.

(With agency inputs)