COVID-19: Key takeaways from Health Ministry’s daily briefing

The Health Ministry in his daily briefing on Friday said that India has 3.38 crore hydroxychloroquine tablets which is three times of its requirement.

Here are the key takeaways from the briefing:

– We have a domestic requirement of 1 crore hydroxychloroquine tabs, and we have 3.38 crore tablets available, this means we have triple the requirement for the country: Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry.

– We did 16002 tests in the last 24 hours of which only 320 tested positive: Lav Agarwal

– Till now 678 new cases and 33 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours.

– MHA has again written to states today to enforce lockdown effectively, especially considering upcoming festivals: Punya Salila Srivastava, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs

– We have issued guidelines on the functioning of blood camps; PPEs medical equipment etc exempt from customs duty and health cess: Lav Agarwal

– About 9 lakh N95 masks were already available with states, about 20,000 more masks have been sent to them, and order for 49000 ventilators has been placed.

– Currently, 146 government and 67 private labs doing testing

– If there is community transmission in the country, we will be the first person to tell you because it needs additional alertness: Lav Agarwal

– The private sector has sent 2 crore tablets for distribution to field staff.

– We have evacuated 20,473 foreign nationals as of Thursday. This is an ongoing process. We are receiving excellent cooperation. This is all government effort: Dammu Ravi, AS & Coordinator (COVID-19), MEA.

– Given the ongoing 21-day lockdown, we are not able to give a definite answer with regard to return of Indians abroad, we need to assess the situation and decide at a later stage, he further said.

– In view of the ensuing festivals in the month of April 2020, MHA has directed all States/UTs to ensure strict compliance of lockdown measures to fight COVID19.

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