India over-prepared, always a step ahead of Covid-19 curve, says Health Ministry

The government presented data to show that its preparation was never short of the requirement during the outbreak so far.
Government says it is following the mantra of ‘over-preparedness’ to deal with Covid-19 pandemic(HT Photo/Sanjeev Verma)
Government says it is following the mantra of ‘over-preparedness’ to deal with Covid-19 pandemic(HT Photo/Sanjeev Verma)
Updated on Apr 12, 2020 05:36 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

The Centre on Sunday allayed any concerns over India’s preparedness to tackle rising number of coronavirus cases and said the government has always been on top of the challenge by using the mantra of “over preparedness”.

Health ministry’s joint secretary Lav Agarwal presented data to indicate that the country has been sufficiently scaling up its capacity in areas of testing, training and hospitalization to stay ahead of the curve of the disease.

“As of today, if we need 1,671 beds for Covid-19 patients, but we have over 1 lakh 5 thousand beds available,” said Agarwal.

He added, “We are increasing Covid-19 hospitals and isolation beds, this pandemic can result into an exponential rise in cases, which is why we are preparing in advance. Continuous training of medical professionals to manage Covid-19 cases has been done at the national and the state level. We are over-prepared.”

An ICMR representative present at the daily joint briefing added that the government’s testing capacity had steadily increased to 219 labs including 68 from the private sector. He added that the average number of tests per day for the past five days has consistently been over the figure of 15,000.

“A total of 1,86,906 samples have been tested so far, of which 7,953 were found to be positive for Covid-19,” said the official.

Additionally, the government has taken a major decision to ramp up testing facilities further by roping in both private and public medical colleges, along with 14 mental health institutes across the country.

“14 identified institutes including AIIMS, NIMHANS to mentor medical colleges and expand COVID-19 testing capacity,” Agarwal said.

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The health ministry official added that a total of 8447 positive cases have been recorded since the outbreak of the disease in the country. 909 additions registered since yesterday. A total of 273 deaths have been reported so far including 34 during the day. The good news, however, was the recovery of 716 positive cases.

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