Lockdown from March 25 to May 31 controlled progression of COVID-19: Govt

NEW DELHI, Sept 15: The lockdown from March 25 to May 31 successfully controlled the aggressive progression of COVID-19 in India but there has been a steady rise in the number of cases in the post-lockdown phase, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Choubey said on Tuesday.
However, 3,328 cases and 55 deaths per million population in the country are one of the lowest in the world, Choubey said, replying to a question in Rajya Sabha.
He also said the health ministry followed a graded approach for expanding COVID-19 dedicated hospital infrastructure and enough beds are available for any contingency.
“The lockdown from March 25 to May 31 successfully controlled the aggressive progression of COVID-19 in India. In the post-lockdown phase, cases have shown a steady increase,” Choubey said.
“Outbreaks of COVID-19 are still largely restricted to urban and peri-urban areas. However, there has been reporting from rural areas in the proximity of major cities,” he said.
To a question on whether the government is planning to increase intensive care beds and the capacity of hospitals in remote areas to cope with a large-scale outbreak of COVID-19, Choubey said the health ministry followed a graded approach for expanding COVID-19 dedicated hospital infrastructure.
The states were advised to plan for the requisite number of isolation, oxygen supported and ICU beds based on the prevalent and expected case growth rate. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is also monitoring the COVID-19 hospital infrastructure, he said.
As of now, there are enough beds available to face any contingency, he added.
On the number of ICU beds and ventilators available and operational in different government-run hospitals in states and union territories, the minister said such details are not maintained centrally.
According to the information provided by the states and UTs on the COVID-19 portal, there were 62,979 ICU beds and 32,862 ventilators available in the country as of September 14.
The ministry has instructed the states that they may indicate the number of ventilators required so that the same can be supplied to them.
“So far, 32,109 ventilators have been allocated to various states and a total of 20,916 ventilators have been installed at the facilities,” Choubey said.
A total amount of Rs 898.93 crore has been released from the PM Cares Fund towards the provision of ventilators. The Ministry of Health had placed an order for supply, installation and commissioning of 30,000 ICU ventilators from Bharat Electronics Limited, a public sector enterprise of the Ministry of Defence, he said.
“All states are going to be equally benefitted as the ventilators are being allocated to states based on the numbers of case(s), the trend of pandemic and the requirement posed by them,” he said. (PTI)