COVID-19: Doubling time of cases 12.2 days; tally 70,756, toll 2,293

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the fatality rate is 3.2 per cent while the recovery rate is progressively increasing and stands at 31.74 per cent

A national lockdown imposed in March had to be lifted after two months as the economy sunk bringing in joblessness, starvation and mass migration. Photo: PTI

The doubling time of COVID-19 cases has now improved to 12.2 days from 10.9 days, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday (May 12), highlighting the need for enhanced surveillance and contact-tracing in view of migrants and expats returning home.

Vardhan said the fatality rate is 3.2 per cent while the recovery rate is progressively increasing and stands at 31.74 per cent.

Reviewing measures for management of COVID-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh with MoS for Health Ashwini Choubey, he asked the states and UTs to focus on surveillance, testing, contact-tracing and timely treatment of all the returnees.

Vardhan suggested that the Aarogya Setu mobile application be made compulsory for all the returnees for better surveillance and suitable medical interventions, the ministry said.

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According to the Health Ministry, the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 2,293 and the positive cases climbed to 70,756, registering an increase of 87 deaths and 3,604 cases in the last 24 hours till Tuesday 8 am.

Related news: COVID-19 death toll rises to 2,293, cases climb to 70,756 in India

“While the doubling time in the past 14 days was 10.9, it has improved to 12.2 in the last three days,” Vardhan was quoted as saying in a statement.

Of the total active cases, as on Monday, 2.37 per cent patients are in ICU, 0.41 per cent on ventilators and 1.82 per cent on oxygen support, he said.

The minister said the testing capacity has increased to 1 lakh tests per day with 347 government laboratories and 137 private labs.

“Cumulatively, 17,62,840 tests have been done so far for COVID-19. Whereas, 86,191 samples were tested on Monday,” he said.

The Centre, states and UTs are taking cohesive efforts to combat the coronavirus and “this provides us the assurance that the country is well-prepared to face any eventuality due to COVID-19”, he said.

During the meeting, the Union health minister also stressed on ramping up surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI)/Influenza Like Illness (ILI), which will help in identifying any possible hidden infections at an early stage and in its timely containment.

He praised the work done for SARI/ILI surveillance and contact-tracing in Uttarakhand.

Ladakh stated that it has started mobile medical vans in far-flung areas for non-COVID services. RK Mathur, the LG of Ladakh, said his administration is keeping doctors and police personnel in reserve to deploy on rotational basis.

Related news: ‘Team India’ united on seeking more central funds, divided on lockdown exit

Vardhan pointed out that as the usage tobacco is fairly high in Ladakh, spitting in public places needs to be banned as per the guidelines issued earlier.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said Ayurvedic immunity boosters have been provided to front-line health workers, police personnel and paramilitary forces.

Sirmaur district is providing training to barbers and salon operators to prepare them for post-lockdown.

The states and UTs were advised to keep adequate stock of essential medicines and timely release of salaries and incentives to boost the morale of front-line health workers.

The meeting was also attended by Jammu and Kashmir LG Girish Chandra Murmu and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.

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