Infection rate only 2%, no community transmission yet: Health Ministry


By NS Desk 10-Apr-2020

New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday that there is no community transmission of Covid-19 in the country yet and the rate of the infection is still low.

Speaking at a press conference here on Friday, Joint Secretary at the Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal, said, "At least 16,002 samples were tested on Thursday, of which only 320 tested positive for Covid-19. Only 2 per cent cases tested positive. Based on the samples collected, we can say that the infection rate is not high, although it is dynamic."

According to Agarwal, India has reported 6,412 Covid-19 positive cases so far.

"At least 503 people have been cured while 199 people died till date. A total of 678 new cases and 33 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours," he informed.

Agarwal also suggested that people need to be alert. "Today, the challenge is not local or community transmission, but whether we are following all the precautionary and containment measures. There is no community transmission in the country yet, but we need to remain aware and alert," he said.

Agarwal also said that initially there was just one laboratory for Covid-19 testing in the country, which has now been increased to 213, meaning the government is opening labs at the rate of 2.5 per day.

"There are 146 government labs and 67 private labs now. Earlier, we conducted 5,000-6,000 tests per day, but on Thursday, 16,002 tests were done. We are making 2.5 labs operational per day," Agarwal said.

Manoj Murhekar, Director, National Institute of Epidemiology, who was also present at the press conference, told the media, "A total of 144,910 samples were tested till 9 p.m. on Thursday from 103,792 suspected patients, of which 5,075 returned positive. We conducted 16,002 tests in single day. It (number of tests per day) has increased substantially."



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