A Railway worker spraying disinfectant on a Covid-19 isolation coach during a nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the coronavirus.(ANI PHOTO.)
A Railway worker spraying disinfectant on a Covid-19 isolation coach during a nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the coronavirus.(ANI PHOTO.)

Covid-19 Update: 591 new cases, 20 deaths reported since Wednesday, says health ministry

The health ministry official asked people to follow the ministry website for authentic numbers of positive patients and other government sources of information and not to believe in fake news, which maybe in circulation on social media.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON APR 09, 2020 06:23 PM IST

India has reported 591 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours with the total number of coronavirus positive patients in the country climbing to 5,865. Till date, 478 people have recovered and been discharged and 20 people have died since yesterday, the health ministry said on Thursday.

Across the country, as many as 169 people have died after testing positive for the deadly pathogen.

“With the number of Covid-19 cases rising in the country, 5000 train coaches have been turned into isolation wards for Covid-19 positive patients. Supplies of PPEs, masks and ventilators have begun arriving and there is no need to panic over the availability of PPE for frontline health workers,” Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry said at the daily news briefing. He also urged people to offer full support to doctors and other medical staff fighting the Covid-19 pandemic for days at a stretch for over a month now.

“In order to prepare 80,000 isolation beds, the Indian Railways are converting 5,000 coaches into isolation units, of which 3,250 have been converted,” Aggarwal said.

“Hospitals should follow infection control guidelines so that medical workers don’t contract the disease. The Group of Ministers formed has also advised that doctors who are fighting like soldiers against Covid-19 should get full support from all communities,” he said.

According to health ministry data, orders for 49,000 ventilators have been placed and supply is underway. Ten teams of coronavirus specialists have also been sent to nine states.

On medical supplies available, Aggarwal said, “We are ensuring that not only for now even in future there will not be any lack of HCQ (Hydroxychloroquine) as and when needed.” There is sufficient stock of the hydroxychloroquine drug available in the country, according to health ministry officials.

The health ministry official asked people to follow the ministry website for authentic numbers of positive patients and other government sources of information and not to believe in fake news, which maybe in circulation on social media.

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