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'India in a better position than foreign countries'

India in a better position than foreign countries

New Delhi: Even though the country reported the highest-ever increase of 227 cases in the last 24 hours, the Centre on Monday rejected all speculations about community transmission of COVID-19 reiterating that India is still in stage two and in a safer position compared with other developed countries, as the country reached 1,000 confirmed cases from 100 in 12 days, while foreign nations witnessed an exponential rise in positive cases in the same period of time.

However, the total number of confirmed cases rose to 1,251 on Monday at 9.30 pm from 1,024 on Sunday night. Out of a total of 1,251 positive cases, 1,117 are active, 102 recovered and 32 deaths. Kerala reported the highest 202 cases followed by Maharashtra (198), Delhi (87), Karnataka (83) and Uttar Pradesh (82).

"When compared with other badly affected countries, India is in a 'safer' position as most of the other nations have reported an increase of 3,500 to 8,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the 12-day period," joint secretary Lav Aggrawal said, adding that all such developed countries are less populated than India.

Giving credit for the 'reduction' in the speed of transmission of the virus, the Health ministry official said: "It all happened due to active participation and cooperation of the people, which need to be continued for a further period of time. If we don't follow lockdown, we may fail in containing the virus." Notably, India had reached the mark of 100 cases on March 15 and on March 29 the positive cases' figure crossed the 1,000 marks.

"It's a must to stay at home to break the transmission chain. The transmission of the virus is still at the local level and there is no community transmission yet, which is a great relief for all," he said.

The moment it becomes a community transmission, the government will reach out to countrymen with extensive strategies and seek their cooperation in containing the virus, he added.

On the matter of availability of PPEs, the official said: "There won't be any shortage as orders for 26 lakh PPE coveralls have already been placed, which would ensure the supply of up to 15,000 PPEs every day within the next week. At present, 3.34 lakh PPEs are available in-country, while another 70,000 PPE kits have already been supplied to hospitals."

ICMR's senior official Raman Gangakhedkar said about 38,442 suspected patients of COVID-19 have been investigated so far and 3,501 samples were tested on Sunday. "Besides ICMR's 115 labs, 47 private labs have also started testing samples and in the last three day, private labs have screened 1,334," the ICMR official said.

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