Tribune News Service
New Delhi, March 26
Though India continues to see a larger number of Covid-19 cases with each passing day, the rate of rise in infections is either stable or low in early trends since the government announced social distancing followed by a lockdown.
Results of recent daily cases don’t reveal progressing trends as of now, with the government determined to enforce 100 per cent compliance of the national lockdown coupled with public health response strategy of isolating all recent travellers to India and their symptomatic contacts.
Ban on international flights till April 14
All international commercial passenger flights will remain suspended till April 14, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced on Thursday, amid a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Thursday case load was 649 as against Wednesday’s 606, recording an increase of 43 cases. Six deaths were seen in the past 24 hours, taking the toll to 15.
“Every case is being aggressively tracked. Clinical protocols are being maintained, quarantine periods of recent travellers monitored and contact tracing of positive cases undertaken. We are seeing larger number of cases but parallel to that, the rate at which these cases are rising appears to be stabilising or reducing. These are very early trends and yet to be established but we want the current level of alertness to continue,” Health Ministry nodal officer for Covid-19 response Lav Agarwal said today. The government said there was no community transmission of the disease yet, saying isolated cases in Bhilwara, Hyderabad and Mumbai should not be read as community transmission. “We will tell you when we are there (community transmission). There is nothing to hide,” ICMR chief epidemiologist Raman Gangakhedkar said, adding that private laboratories are still procuring testing kits validated by ICMR and are yet to begin testing.
ICMR has approved 29 labs with 15,000 sample collection centres for Covid-19 testing. Encouraged by early trends, Cabinet Secretary Rajeev Gauba today urged state chief secretaries to ensure complete lockdown compliancem saying it was a must for India to break the chain of disease transmission.
“The police in states have begun making arrests, seizures and lodging FIRs against those violating infectious disease protocols,” Home Ministry said.
On the medical side, all 64,000 people who returned to India since March 21 and under quarantine are being monitored, said the Health Ministry.
“These people must observe 100 per quarantine. In the fight against Covid-19, one person’s non-cooperation can bring all national efforts to a naught,” Agarwal said.
India today defended its limited testing strategy even after WHO said locking down entire people won’t suppress the virus on its own and public health measures like detection, testing, isolation and management were equally important to ensure the virus didn’t return once lock downs ended.
ICMR prescribes 14-day home isolation for recent travellers and says they should come for testing only if they have any symptom of respiratory stress plus fever. The same is true for healthcare workers.
Man kills brother for stepping out
A 28-year-old man was arrested for allegedly killing his younger brother for stepping out of their home during the lockdown in the western suburb of Kandivali, the Mumbai police said on Thursday.
17 states have exclusive COVID hospitals
Stressing India is geared for Covid-19 challenge, the Health Ministry on Thursday said 17 states have started work on earmarking hospitals for dedicated treatment of Covid patients.
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