Early lockdown helped India convert exponential growth in COVID-19 cases into linear trend – Harsh Vardhan

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Early lockdown helped India convert exponential growth in COVID-19 cases into linear trend – Harsh Vardhan


An early lockdown imposed by the government helped India in converting the exponential growth rate of coronavirus cases into a linear trend, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday, even as the country saw a jump of over 11,000 cases for the third consecutive day and the death toll rose to 9,520.

The number of confirmed cases rose to 3,32,424 with 11,502 new infections in the last 24 hours, while 325 new deaths were recorded, the health ministry said in its morning update.

During the last 24 hours, 7,419 COVID-19 patients were cured, taking the total number of patients recovered so far to 1,69,797, the ministry said.

The recovery rate has risen to 51.08 per cent which is indicative of the fact that more than half of positive cases have recovered from the disease, it said, adding that currently, 1,53,106 active cases are under medical supervision.

Vardhan asserted that the government is leaving no stone unturned in tackling the COVID-19 crisis.

“The early lockdown that was imposed, helped India in converting the exponential growth rate into a linear trend!” he tweeted along with a graph showing the growth rate of COVID-19 cases.

The graph showed that the growth rate of cases which was over 30 per cent on March 20 has been steady at around 5 per cent since first week of May.

India is the fourth worst-hit nation by the pandemic after the US, Brazil and Russia.

According to the Worldometer data, which has been compiling COVID-19 data from all over the world, India is in the ninth position in terms of death toll.

Amid reports of a shortage of healthcare infrastructure in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centre on Monday asked states and Union Territories to engage with the private sector for augmenting such infrastructure and provisioning critical care at reasonable rates.

Being seized of the emerging scenario, the Health Ministry said it has asked the States/UTs to engage with the private healthcare providers to facilitate enhanced bed availability and critical care health facilities as well as to ensure fair and transparent charges for services provided.

Meanwhile, in view of its high specificity but relatively low sensitivity, the ICMR has recommended the use of rapid antigen test kits for diagnosis of COVID-19 in containment zones and healthcare settings in combination with the RT-PCR test.

The kits will allow faster diagnosis without laboratory examination.

‘Standard Q COVID-19 Ag detection kit (rapid antigen test kits) is a rapid chromatographic immunoassay for qualitative detection of specific antigens to SARS-CoV-2. It has been developed by SD Biosensor, a South Korea based company,’ the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said in an advisory.

Suspected individuals who test negative for COVID-19 by rapid antigen test should be tested sequentially by RT-PCR to rule out infection, whereas a positive test should be considered as a true positive and does not need reconfirmation by RT-PCR test, ICMR said.

The Standard Q COVID-19 Ag detection can be interpreted as positive or negative after 15 minutes of putting the sample into the well by appearance of test and control lines, which can be read with a naked eye, requiring no specialised equipment, it said.

The maximum duration for interpreting a positive or negative test is 30 minutes. After that the test strip should be discarded, it said.

As many as 120 out of the 325 more deaths reported in the 24 hours till Monday morning were from Maharashtra, followed by 56 from Delhi, 38 from Tamil Nadu and 29 in Gujarat. There were 14 more fatalities in Uttar Pradesh, 12 each in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, and 10 each in Rajasthan and Haryana.

Five COVID-19 deaths were reported from Karnataka, followed by four in Jammu and Kashmir, three each in Telangana and Puducherry, and two each in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Punjab.

A person each succumbed to the infection in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha.

The ICMR’s testing capacity for detecting the novel coronavirus in infected persons is continuously being ramped up, the ministry said.

The number of government labs has been increased to 653 and private labs to 248.

In the last 24 hours, 1,15,519 samples were tested. The total number of samples tested thus far is 57,74,133, the ministry said.

Early lockdown helped India convert exponential growth in COVID-19 cases into linear trend – Harsh Vardhan

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Publisher – Hindustan Times

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