COVID-19 | India readies over 2,000 medical facilities; plans to test one lakh people daily by May 31

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Effecting a lockdown may have helped India contain the transmission of Covid-19 to a great degree but the government is clearly taking no chances. Already, around 1.9 lakh isolation beds, over 24,000 ICU beds and more than 12,000 ventilators across 2,033 dedicated Covid-19 medical facilities have been set-up to deal with the pandemic.

India has tested around 5.2 lakh people for Covid-19 so far and that has often been pointed out to be way low as compared to countries like United States. The government is planning to increase the number of government labs to 300 and ramp up testing capacity to one lakh people per day by May 31.

When cases of Covid-19 started emerging in India, the country just had a single lab at the National Institute of Virology at Pune that was equipped to perform tests to detect Covid-19. Since then India has now gone up to 230 government labs and 87 private labs which have more than 16,000 collection centres.

“The Government has ensured preparedness for high loads of patients in times to come,” Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said today, acknowledging that the numbers could go up in days to come.

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That numbers could go up in days to come is further reflected by the fact that around 9.45 lakh possibly infected people from across the country have been put under surveillance. “They are being closely monitored and samples are taken from them promptly upon detection of symptoms,” National Centre for Disease Control’s Director S.K Singh said today.

That the lockdown—currently in place till May 3—has played an important role in containing the spread of the virus can be gauged by the fact that rate of doubling of cases in India has now risen up to 10 days. The rate of doubling of cases before lockdown had gone as low as three days.

In fact, Niti Aayog Member and chairman of Empowered Group One Dr V.K Paul today said that the number of total Covid-19 cases in India would have touched the 1 lakh mark by now had lockdown not been implemented.

The good news is that there are still 80 districts in India which have reported no new cases in the last 14 days and 15 districts which have not reported any new case in the last 28 days.

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