Our Bureau

New Delhi

With the highest 2.48 lakh tested for coronavirus in a day, there was peak in the figures of those dead, hospitalised or recovered just hours before the Lockdown 3.0 came to an end. No immediate explanation from the health ministry for this sudden hike except some states’ data coming late and contributing to higher figures.

So far, 22.28 lakh people have been tested for the virus and as many as 90,927 of them were positive, a spurt of 8,457 in a single day from 3,967 a day earlier. With the highest 223 deaths reported in 24 hours up to 8 am on Sunday, the death toll rose to 2,872, though the government claims this is quite low compared to most of the affected countries as it is just 0.01% of the persons tested or 2.45% of the persons found positive and hospitalised.

However, latest figures while paper going to press stood at 95,639 confirmed cases and 3,025 deaths.

The recovery rate improved to 37.5% from previous day’s 34.06% with the highest 6,189 cured and discharged in the past 24 hours raising the total recoveries to 34,108.

Meanwhile, the health ministry has come out with fresh guidelines on preparedness and response to COVID-19 in urban settlements, containment plan for large outbreak and cluster contain plan.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said only 3.1% active patients are in ICUs, 0.45% on ventilators and 2.7% on oxygen support. As regards the health infrastructure development for the containment, he said as of now 916 dedicated COVID hospitals with 1,80,473 beds (Isolation beds: 1,61,169 and ICU beds: 19,304) and 2,044 dedicated COVID health centres with 1,28,304 beds (Isolation beds: 1,17,775 and ICU beds: 10,529) along with 9,536 quarantine centres and 6,309 COVID care centres with 5,64,632 beds. India thus have the capacity to handle over 8.73 lakh patients, 16 times more than 53,946 patients already in the hospitals.

He said physical distancing and behaviour etiquettes are potent “social vaccines” for battling COVID-19. This fight can only be won with complete cooperation of every citizen and not to fall prey to misinformation, rumours and myths or unfounded claims about the diseases.

With due precautions, Dr Vardhan said safe handling and preparations of food can help prevent the virus’s spr­e­ad. Food Safety and Standa­rds Authority of India has ad­vised simple steps to ensure food-safety like washing fruits and vegetables in clean potable water.

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