Pre-emptive, proactive steps helped limit COVID-19 cases and deaths: Union Health Minister in Lok Sabha
India has been able to limit its cases and deaths to 3,328 cases per million and 55 deaths per million population respectively
The Indian government’s early decision to impose a nationwide lockdown has prevented 14 lakhs to 29 lakhs cases and 37,000 to 78,000 deaths, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan told the Lok Sabha during the first day of Parliament’s Monsoon Session.
He said that India has been able to limit its cases and deaths to 3,328 cases per million and 55 deaths per million population respectively, which is one of the lowest in the world as compared to similarly affected countries.
“The increasing magnitude of this outbreak in India called for a pre-emptive, pro-active, graded, whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach, built around a comprehensive strategy to prevent infections, save lives and minimize impact,” the minister told the Lok Sabha.
He said that the four months since the lockdown began were utilised to create additional health infrastructure and resources like PPE kits, N-95 masks and ventilators.
“A case in point is the increase in dedicated isolation beds 36.3 times and dedicated ICU beds above 24.6 times to what existed in March 2020. Whereas there was no indigenous manufacturing of PPE, with the requisite standards, at that point in time, we are now self-sufficient and, in a position, to even export the same,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.
India is indigenously producing over 10 lakh PPE kits per day, the minister said. He further said that the lab network in the entire country has also been strengthened.
“From a situation of a single laboratory equipped to undertake testing for Covid in January, presently 1705 laboratories are conducting COVID-19 Testing. Laboratories have been established in difficult terrains like Ladakh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland as well as other North Eastern states, Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar island. Currently the testing is about 1 million tests a day (which translates to 720 tests per million population per day), much higher than that stipulated by WHO which is 140 tests per million population per day,” he said.
He also informed the Lok Sabha about the current scenario of COVID-19 in the country. As on 11 September, a total of 45,62,414 confirmed cases and 76,271 deaths (Case Fatality Rate 1.67%) have been reported in India. As many as 35,42,663 (77.65%) cases have recovered, he said.
The maximum cases and deaths have been primarily reported from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, Bihar, Telangana, Odisha, Assam, Kerala & Gujarat, he informed.