'Have cut transmission, minimised spread, increased doubling time'
New Delhi: With 1,229 fresh cases and 34 deaths being reported in the last 24 hours, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases climbed to 21,700 in the country while the death toll has reached 686.
The rate of recovery has improved from 18.7 per cent to 20 per cent on Thursday as a total of 4,325 patients have recovered and have been discharged from treating facilities.
According to the Health ministry, 12 districts have not reported any fresh cases in the last 28 days or more and 78 districts of 23 states/UTs have not registered any fresh cases during the last 14 days.
Notably, three states — Goa, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh — have been declared Coronavirus free as all the COVOD-19 patients have been discharged from the hospitals. Also, no fresh cases of Corona have been reported from these states. Goa had reported 7 COVID-19 cases while Manipur 2 and Arunachal Pradesh had recorded only one case.
The government has claimed that it has ramped up the testing capabilities in the last 30 days of lockdown as at present, there are 325 testing labs in the country.
Maharashtra reported the highest number of confirmed cases — 5,652 out of which 789 have recovered and 269 succumbed to the virus.
It registered a staggering count of 778 positive cases on Thursday, the state's highest single-day jump so far taking the total COVID-19 tally to 6,427, the state health officials said.
Fourteen patients died on Thursday, taking the death toll due to the deadly pathogen in the state to 283, the officials added.
Till date, 840 Coronavirus patients have recovered and been discharged in the state, according to state health department data.
With a total of 2,407 cases, Gujarat is at the second spot followed by Delhi (2,248), Rajasthan (1,890), Madhya Pradesh (1,695), Tamil Nadu (1,629) and Uttar Pradesh (1,509).
The lockdown has also helped in cutting transmission and minimising the spread, said CK Mishra, chairman of Empowered Group-2 that is tasked with coordinating the availability of hospitals, isolation and quarantine facilities, disease surveillance, testing and critical care training.
"One crucial weapon we employed during the 30-day lockdown period is RT-PCR test to ascertain if one has contracted the disease or not. So far, the ICMR has conducted 5 lakh tests," he said.
Meanwhile, the number of Coronavirus positive patients in the Dharavi area of Mumbai has crossed the 200-mark on Thursday after 25 new cases were detected. The death toll in this locality has gone up to 13.
AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria, while addressing a press conference, pointed out that the stigma attached with the novel Coronavirus is causing an increase in mortality and morbidity rates. "People are coming to us only when symptoms worsen. It is important to reach out to patients who are missing out of treatment because of the stigma and panic," he said.
While asserting that the growth of Coronavirus cases in the country has been more or less linear and not exponential, the government also said testing has been ramped up consistently.
Mishra also claimed that India has done better than a majority of developed countries with respect to the percentage of test cases yielding positive results.
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