COVID-19 Briefing: Highest Number of Patients Cured in Last 24 Hours, Says Health Ministry

The government also said the cost of migrant workers' journey by train was to be borne by the Railways and state governments.

New Delhi: During Monday’s press briefing at which the government updates on how it is tackling COVID-19, Lav Agarwal, joint secretary at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said, 11,706 people have been cured nationwide till now.

He said the number of cured in the last 24 hours stood at 1,074 which has been the highest till date. The recovery rate has further improved to 27.52%.

In the last 24 hours, 2,553 confirmed cases have been reported, taking the total confirmed cases to 42,530.

Agarwal suggested that the outcome ratio, that is cases closed owing to recovery and death, has improved from 80:20 to 90:10. “The outcome ratio suggests the clinical status of the hospitals,” he said.

While warning people to stay alert, he said, “We are transiting into a new normal, if people will grow complacent in the lockdown relaxation, cases will increase.”

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On being asked about why migrant workers are being charged railway ticket prices for their return journey home, Agarwal said that the question is not factually correct. “Firstly, [as part of] the lockdown measures [we] have asked people to stay wherever they were and secondly, the special trains have run because the states requested the Centre.” He said that the railways will bear 85% of the cost of transportation and states, 15%.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that its control room under the ministry has processed over 12,000 complaints.

The MHA’s toll free help;ine number for assistance of truck and goods carriers is 1930 and that of the National Highways Authority of India is 1033.

It further said that to control the spread of COVID-19 among policemen, an advisory, with inputs from Bureau of Police Research and Development and the health ministry, is being issued by the MHA for all the states, Union Territories and Central armed forces.

The representative also listed out various activities that would remain in operation and those that would be restricted in the red, orange and green zones.

“There would be nation-wide restriction on travelling through air, rail and metro, inter-state road movement, schools, colleges, coaching institutes, hotels, restaurants, bar, gym, auditoriums, temples and other religious places,” said MHA joint secretary Punya Salila Shrivastava.

“In the containment areas in the red and orange zones, ‘strict perimeter control’ would be followed, autos, rickshaws, cab aggregators would not be permitted. Spas and saloon shops would remain shut. Only standalone shops or shops in apartments are permitted to remain functional,” she added.

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In the red zone, MHA has permitted construction where the labourers remain on-site and in the renewable sources.

In the orange zone, taxis and cab aggregators are permitted with maximum of two passengers. In the green zones, movement of buses with 50% capacity is allowed.

Chairman of the empowered group pointed to the efforts of about 92,000 NGOs. “For the first time in the country, all the NGOs were mobilised in nutrition, health, sanitation and education sector. They coordinate with the state and district administration to set up camps, food and health facilities for the homeless and daily wage workers,” he said.

He said that a special order was issued for the NGOs to purchase rice and wheat from the Food Corporation of India at the subsidised rate of Rs 22 and 21 respectively so that no person remains hungry.

“In the next phase, the NGOs would also fight against stigmatisation and help the elderly,” said the chairman.

He further added that the 112 ‘aspirational districts’ that comprise about 22% of the country’s population have only 2% of the infection. “These districts have so far registered only 610 COVID-19 cases.”

Responding to the query on the status of Indian economy as per NITI Aayog, the chairman of the empowered group said, “We will have to wait and see, how the economy takes off as the supply chain opens up.”