COVID-19 Update Press Release

COVID-19 Update Press Release

PIB Fact Check=

No shortage of ventilators, oxygen cylinders, PPE, N-95 and N-99 masks, RT-PCR kits: Chairman, Empowered Group 3

Containment zones to be delineated on basis of geographical dispersion of cases & contacts, areas with a well-demarcated perimeter and enforceability; buffer zones also to be defined around containment zones: Health Ministry

Ruthless containment measures to break chain of transmission will be taken in red and orange zones: Health Ministry

MHA allows movement of stranded persons via rail as well, states and Railway Board to make arrangements

Posted On: 01 MAY 2020 5:50PM by PIB Mumbai
New Delhi / Mumbai, May 1, 2020

The number of COVID-19 positive cases stands at 35,043 as on date, while 25,007 people are under active medical supervision as on today. 8,888 people have been cured till date, which takes up the recovery rate to 25.37%. In the last 24 hours, 1,993 new cases, 67 deaths and 564 recoveries have been reported. This was informed by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Shri Lav Aggarwal, at the daily media briefing on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on COVID-19, held at Shastri Bhawan, PIB New Delhi today.

Reiterating that all the districts of the country are divided into red, orange and green zones, Shri Agarwal said, state and district administration through focused efforts should ensure that the districts where cases have come up i.e. red and orange zone, break the chain of transmission through effective and stringent containment measures. He further said:

  • While mapping cases & contacts, geographical dispersion of cases & contacts, areas with a well-demarcated perimeter and enforceability are to be considered.
  • Based on these, containment zones should be delineated
  • In urban areas, containment zones may be residential colony/mohallas/municipal wards or police station area/ municipal zones/towns etc.
  • In rural areas, it may be village/clusters of village or group of police stations/ gram panchayats/block etc.
  • These boundaries can be declared as Containment Zones.
  • These areas should be appropriately defined by District Administration/ Local urban body.
  • A buffer zone is also to be demarcated around the containment zones.
  • Within containment zones, there should be:
    • Stringent perimeter control
    • Active search for cases through house to house surveillance by special teams formed for the purpose
    • Testing of all cases as per sampling guidelines.
    • Contact tracing
    • Clinical management of all confirmed cases
  • Within buffer zones, extensive surveillance for cases through monitoring ILI/SARI cases in health facilities is to be carried out.

The Joint Secretary stated that COVID-19 has set a new normal for everyone. Stating that we need to be careful, alert and aware, he reiterated the do-s and don’t-s, which are: Government issued guidelines are to be followed even outside containment zones; we need to consciously change our approach, we need to avoid prolonged direct and confined contact with people in a closed area and follow proper physical distancing as a behaviour change approach; Concepts like staggered timings should be followed to avoid congestion in areas; Hand hygiene, like washing hands with soap and water or using sanitizer, should be followed; All frequently touched surfaces such as table-tops, chair handles, keyboards, mouse, mouse pad, etc. should be disinfected and cleaned regularly; Everybody should wear a mask or face cover as appropriate; We may need to change our outlook – a person wearing masks is not to be seen as a sick person but as a person who is considerate to his society; everyone should download the Corona tracker app “Aarogya Setu ” for one’s own safety.

The Joint Secretary stated that this is a fight that has engulfed the whole world and India has to manage the situation and try to set a successful example.

The Chairman of Empowered Group 3, Shri P D Baghela gave a presentation on progress in production and procurement of medical supplies, in the country’s fight against COVID-19. Ventilators, oxygen and oxygen cylinders, PPE kits, N-95 masks and diagnostic kits are important components of medical supplies. Shri Baghela said that India took the challenge posed by COVID-19 as an opportunity to create supply chains and domestic manufacturing capacity for PPEs, by helping capacity expansion, identification of new manufacturers and handholding enterprises. He further stated:

  • Against a total demand for 75,000 ventilators, close to 20,000 are available and additional orders have been placed for more than 60,000. The demand for ventilators is being met through handholding and facilitation, and assistance via training and installation.
  • More than 4 lakh oxygen cylinders are available which is sufficient for today’s requirements, orders for more than 1 lakh oxygen cylinders have been placed, industrial oxygen too is being converted into medical oxygen.
  • Against projected demand of around 2 crore PPEs, orders have been placed for more than 2.2 crore PPEs.  From no domestic manufacturers earlier, we now have 111 indigenous manufacturers, from whom orders for more than 1.4 crore PPEs have been placed.
  • 9 new labs for PPE testing have been added in 15 days. It includes Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Delhi; Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment, Agra and 6 labs of Ordinance Factory Board. DRDO has developed 3 types of new PU coated nylon and have transferred the technology to domestic manufacturers.  Now India is second only to China in manufacturing PPE.
  • From a production capacity of around 3,300 COVID-19 PPEs per day in March end, within a month, our capacity has been augmented to 1.8 lakh PPEs per day and soon it will be above 2 lakh per day.
  • While projected demand for N-95 and N-99 masks is 2.7 crore, orders have been placed for 2.5 crore, out of which 1.5 crore is from domestic manufacturers. We are able to produce 2.3 lakh per day within the nation.
  • Against a demand for 35 lakh combined RT-PCR kits, ICMR has ordered more than 21 lakh kits. Around14 lakh kits have already been received. Centre has decided to handhold states in purchasing VTMs and RNA extraction kits.
  • Production of HCQ has been augmented from 12.23 crore tablets to 30 crore per month now. Also, 9 crore tablets have been supplied as against requirement of 2.5 crore. We have been able to meet our own demand for HCQ and also help other nations.

Shri Baghela acknowledged the contribution of various ministries and departments of the Centre and state governments, due to which the nation has been able to ensure adequate availability of medical supplies to fight COVID-19. He added, there is no shortage of medical equipment in India today. Two control-rooms located at the premises of Department of Pharmaceuticals and National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority are functioning 24X7. Continuous interactions with manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies are taking place. States are also monitoring and facilitating the drugs and medicine manufacturing industries, he stated.

Stating that MHA is continuously monitoring the implementation of lockdown, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ms. Punya Salila Srivastava representative stated:

  • Today MHA has issued an order by which permission for rail travel has been given to those who are stranded at different places, like students, migrant workers, tourists and pilgrims. For this, the concerned state governments and railway board will take necessary action and implementation of all health protocols will have to be ensured.
  • MHA has re-iterated to all States/UTs that, as per the consolidated revised guidelines on lockdown measures, no separate passes are required for through traffic of trucks and goods carriers, including empty trucks etc.  It is important to ensure that goods traffic are not stopped in roads so that essential supplies may reach different parts of the country.
  • 62 lakh tonnes of wheat and rice have been procured by FCI.
  • 26,972 rakes of Indian Railways is ensuring supply of essential commodities throughout the country.
  • 716 flights under Lifeline UDAN have transported 781 tonnes of medical supplies in faraway places of the country.
  • Movement of trucks and good carriers is increasing every day.
  • All the central armed forces like BSF, Assam Rifles, CRPF, CISF, NDRF, SSB, ITBP and NSG are actively participating in the fight against COVID-19 and are providing assistance to people 24X7 hours. They have been deputed for providing assistance to local administration in implementing lockdown. 19,000 beds have been ensured for COVID-19 patients in total 32 hospitals of central armed forces throughout the country. The central armed forces have also set up quite a few quarantine centres throughout the country and distributed essential items to needy people. They are also creating awareness about COVID-19 and have arranged for blood donation camps.

In reply to a media query on containment zones and buffer zones, Shri Agarwal stated, red and orange zones have been defined in such a way so as to ensure that no critical area of intervention at the field level is missed out. Ruthless containment measures to break chain of transmission will be taken in red and orange zones, he said.

LIVE tweets by @PIB_India are available on this thread.