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Positive cases rise to 8,532; govt says we have over 1L isolation beds

Positive cases rise to 8,532; govt says we have over 1L isolation beds

New Delhi: As India reported 1,003 new corona positive cases in the last 24 hours, the government on Sunday stressed on the availability of treating facilities by claiming that there are over 1 lakh isolation beds ready with oxygen support for COVID-19 patients across the country.

India on Sunday reported a total of 8,532 positive cases of Coronavirus out of which 7,489 are active, 765 recovered and 278 have succumbed to the deadly virus.

During his daily briefing, joint secretary (health) Lav Agarwal said, "We are being over-prepared in our approach. We want to be ready if the numbers of cases rise exponentially."

As per the current number of cases, over 1,600 COVID-19 patients need isolation beds with oxygen support and against that requirement, India has more than 1 lakh such beds readily available, he said. Contradicting the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) findings that stated that 70 per cent COVID-19 patients show mild symptoms, Agarwal, also an IITian, said, "As above 80 per cent positive cases of corona show mild symptoms, so they don't need oxygen support and are being treated at COVID care centres."

"The cases with moderate symptoms are being provided with oxygen support and critical patients are being treated in dedicated COVID-19 hospitals which have ventilators," Agarwal said, adding that on March 29, of the total 979 positive cases only 196 patients were in need of oxygen supported treatment facilities.

"As of April 9, we needed 1,100 isolation beds with oxygen support, we had 85,000. As of today, 1,671 isolation beds are needed with oxygen support, we have 1,05,000 in 601 hospitals," the official said.

Currently, the country has a total of 219 testing facilities, including 151 in government network and 68 private laboratories.

Meanwhile, the ICMR has claimed that positive cases of coronavirus are increasing at the rate of 4.3 per cent and the average growth rate of COVID-19 cases in the last five days stands at 584. As per the ICMR, till 2:30 pm on Sunday, 1,86,906 samples were tested.

Responding to a question on the development of vaccines, the ICMR official said, "There are 40 plus candidate vaccines that are under development but none of them has reached the next stage."

In a related development, the Group of Ministers (GoM) has approved the release of hydroxychloroquine to 13 countries after an assessment of stocks.

On increasing testing facilities, the Health Ministry official said, "As a part of expansion of COVID-19 testing facilities in the government and private medical colleges across the country, 14 mentor institutes, including the AIIMS and NIMHANS, have been identified to mentor the medical colleges."

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