Coronavirus outbreak: 30 days of lockdown has helped check virus spread, says govt

Published: 24 April, 2020 10:17 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

Further says that the growth of Coronavirus cases in the country has been more or less linear and not exponential

A medical team conducts door-to-door survey to screen people for COVID-19 symptoms, in Ahmedabad, on Thursday. Pic/PTI
A medical team conducts door-to-door survey to screen people for COVID-19 symptoms, in Ahmedabad, on Thursday. Pic/PTI

The government said on Thursday that it has been able to "cut Coronavirus transmission", minimise its spread and increase the doubling time of COVID-19 cases in the country during the 30-day period of the nationwide lockdown. While asserting that the growth of Coronavirus cases in the country has been more or less linear and not exponential, it also said testing has been ramped up consistently. Addressing a daily press conference on the COVID-19 situation in the country, C K Mishra, chairman of Empowered Group Two, said, "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."

As on March 23, nearly 15,000 tests were done across the country and by April 22 more than 5 lakh tests were conducted, which is about "33 times in 30 days", he said, adding, "But we are conscious of the fact that this is not enough and we have to continuously ramp up testing in the country and we will do that." Of the empowered groups formed to suggest measures to ramp up healthcare, put the economy back on track and reduce misery of people once the lockdown is lifted, Mishra is the chairman of Empowered Group Two tasked with coordinating availability of hospitals, isolation and quarantine facilities, disease surveillance, testing and critical care training.

"The growth of COVID-19 cases has been more or less linear, not exponential; this indicates that the strategies we adopted have succeeded in containing the infection to a particular level. Post imposition of lockdown, while the number of new positive cases has increased by 16 times, testing increased by 24 times," Mishra said in his presentation.

Finance ministry puts DA, DR on hold

The finance ministry has decided to put on hold increment in dearness allowance (DA) for 50 lakh central government employees and 61 lakh pensioners till July 2021. "Additional installment of DA payable to central government employees and dearness relief (DR) to pensioners due from January 1, 2020, shall not be paid," it said.

India fights the virus as lockdown continues

Cong blames Centre: The chief ministers of Congress-ruled states on Thursday hit out at the central government for not providing financial assistance to them, asking how the country would win the battle against COVID-19 in this time of crisis. The chief ministers of Punjab, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Puducherry demanded a financial package for the states to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pay cut rolled back: IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta told employees on Thursday that the airline has decided to roll back the pay cuts, which were announced earlier for senior staff members, for the month of April in deference to the “government’s wishes”. “However, your Excom (Executive Committee) members and SVPs (senior vice presidents) have volunteered to take pay cuts this month. For everyone else, you can expect your April salaries to be paid without the pay cuts,” Dutta told employees through an email.

K’taka relaxes lockdown: Partial relaxation in the extended lockdown has begun across Karnataka, excluding Coronavirus hotspots and containment areas, according to an official here on Thursday. “As notified, the 19-day extended lockdown has been partially relaxed to mitigate hardship to the people and revive the economic activity to sustain growth,” the official said.

Pool testing: Even though Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh has been declared Corona-free, the district administration is taking no chances regarding the deadly virus. The Bareilly health department has deployed a mobile medical unit in crowded localities of the city to collect “pool” samples for random COVID-19 testing of vegetable and fruit vendors, hawkers, chemists, etc.

‘Don’t hold iftars’: The Association of All Goa Muslim Jamaats on Thursday issued a pre-Ramzan advisory urging Muslims in the state not to organise community iftars and pray for frontline health workers, police and those involved in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exit strategy: The Congress Working Committee in its meeting, held virtually, on Thursday demanded that the remaining period of the lockdown should be used to prepare and publish a detailed exit strategy and a comprehensive road map for the future.

04
No. of cops in Bengal injured in clash with villagers

686
Total no. of deaths due to the virus in India

5L
Total no. of samples that have been tested till now

34
No. of Bhopal cops who have tested COVID-19 positive

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