386 new +ve cases in last 24 hrs
Biggest 1-day jump: Health Ministry
New Delhi: With as many as 386 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry on Wednesday said the spike was "not a national trend" and was primarily due to travel by those who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation.
Addressing the daily press briefing, Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said till now there are 1,637 COVID-19 cases in the country out of which 386 new positive cases were reported in the last 24 hours. He, however, stressed that the rise in positive cases "is not a national trend".
"One of the main reasons for the rise in positive cases is the travel by members of Tablighi Jamat," Agarwal said.
All states, which have reported positive cases of the disease, have been notified and asked to carry out intensive drives of rigorous contact tracing and testing and also sending those with symptoms to quarantine facilities or hospitals, he said.
Giving details about the necessary arrangements being made by the government to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic, Agarwal informed reporters that the railways is preparing to set up 3.2 lakh isolation beds by modifying 20,000 train coaches. Modification of 5,000 coaches for the purpose has already begun, he said.
"As many as 38 deaths have been reported and 132 people have recovered," the Joint Health Secretary told media.
"1,800 people related to Tablighi Jamaat have been shifted to nine hospitals and quarantine centres. However, the recent rise in the number of cases does not represent a national trend if compared with the previous trends in the country. But as we all know that naturally, cases will grow due to negligence and carelessness. This is our advice that any kind of congregation should be avoided. Social distancing measures should be followed 100 per cent," said Agarwal.
He told media that 23 new confirmed cases from Jammu and Kashmir, 20 new cases from Telangana, 17 new cases from Andhra Pradesh, 9 new cases from Andaman and Nicobar, 65 new cases from Tamil Nadu, 18 new cases from Delhi, 2 new cases from Puducherry have been reported due transit-related history and additional sample testing is underway where the cases have spiked.
Agarwal also said that Railways is preparing to set up 3.2 lakh isolation and quarantine beds by modifying 20,000 coaches. Modification of 5000 coaches has begun though which 80,000 new isolation beds are expected.
"The Civil Aviation ministry has launched Lifeline flights to transport things like essential commodities, PPEs, testing kits, medicines and masks. 15.4 tons of medical supplies have already been transported in the last five days," said Agarwal.
Agarwal also said that the Health Ministry has created an email id as per Supreme Court's direction which said that misinformation needs to be checked. "firstname.lastname@example.org is the email id through which a Joint Secretary-rank officer of Health Ministry and specialised doctors of AIIMS will provide technical support," he said.
The Chief Scientist of Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr Raman Gangakhedkar, who was also present at the press conference, added: "We have conducted 47,951 tests. There are 126 labs in ICMR network, 51 private labs have also been approved to conduct the test."
He also maintained that 4,562 tests have been conducted in government labs and the private labs have done 816 cases since yesterday (Tuesday). "We have used 38 per cent of our testing capacity," he said.
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