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Without steps, corona cases seen at 8.2 lakh by April 15: Govt (Ld)

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) Stressing the role of lockdown and other containment steps in limiting coronavirus infection, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday, without these crucial steps Covid-19 cases could have spiralled to 8.2 lakh by April 15.

Without these steps, Covid-19 cases could have registered a 41 per cent cumulative increase to 8.2 lakh cases by April 15. With containment measures and no lockdown, it could have gone up to 1.2 lakh till April 15, said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, citing a statistical model to capture the projected cases.

The official figures have come on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with chief ministers and where it seems a consensus has emerged among states to extend the lockdown after April 14.

Agarwal, addressing a daily briefing on the coronavirus situation of the country, said the country has taken early pre-emptive action to identify COVID-19 hotspots, and effectively rolled out lockdown and containment measures.

Detailing the statistical model involved, Agarwal added that projected cases deduced through a statistical model suggested a 41 per cent cumulative increase in number in excess of 2.08 Lakh on April 11 and 8.2 lakh by April 15, in the absence of lockdown and containment measures.

In the second model, taking into account 28.9 per cent cumulative increase in the number, the cases would have jumped to 45, 370 by April 11 and then risen up to 1.2 Lakh cases by April 15.

“The rate of growth was important to understand the increase in the number of cases,” said Agarwal, emphasizing social distancing along with lockdown and containment played a significant role in keeping the numbers low.

He added that initially, the government started promoting social distancing and then the ‘janata curfew’ came on March 22 followed by the announcement on lockdown from March 25, as a result the overall number of cases has not risen drastically, and to date, there are 7,447 coronavirus cases.

“Through our graded approach, we attuned with the evolving situation on the coronavirus in the country,” he said citing the twin strategy of social distancing and containment and lockdown measures.

With 1,035 new cases and 40 deaths in the past 24 hours, the number of confirmed cases in India had reached 7,447, and fatalities 239. As many as 642 people had been cured, Agarwal said.

According to the Health Ministry, 100,000 isolation beds and 11,500 ICU beds have been reserved for Covid-19 patients across the country. Also, 586 dedicated Covid-19 hospitals have been earmarked at the central and the state levels.

The Indian Council of Medical Research official said over 1.7 lakh samples have been tested so far. As many as 16,564 were tested on Friday, and out of these, 14,210 were tested in 146 government laboratories under the ICMR network and remaining at 67 private labs, said the official.




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