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With timely lockdown, we prevented 37-78,000 Covid deaths: Health Minister

Updated September 14, 2020 16:56 IST
Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital to review status of Covid-19 management on April 19, 2020 (PIB)

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effort to initiate the nationwide lockdown in time, the Minister of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) Dr. Harsh Vardhan said in Parliament that the country was able to prevent 78,000-deaths due coronavirus.

“The nationwide lockdown, a bold decision, undertaken by the government duly involving the community, initiated as self-imposed Junta Curfew as per the call given by the Prime Minister is testimony to the fact that India has collectively stood up to manage Covid-19. It has been estimated that this the decision prevented approximately 14–29 lakh cases and 37–78 thousand deaths,” the Health Minister said in Parliament.

Harsh Vardhan said that cases per million in the country have been limited to 3,328 and deaths to 55 per million. He added that this is one of the lowest in the world as compared to similarly affected countries.

“A total of 45,62,414 confirmed cases and 76,271 deaths (Case Fatality Rate 1.67%) have been reported in India. As many as 35,42,663 (77.65%) cases have recovered,” the Health Minister informed Parliament, adding that a large number of cases and deaths have been reported from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, Bihar, Telangana, Odisha, Assam, Kerala and Gujarat.”

Yesterday, 92,0481 cases and 1,136 deaths due to coronavirus were reported.

Speaking on what health infrastructure created by the government, he said that four months were utilized to create additional health infrastructure, enhance human resources and produce critical elements such as PPEs, N-95 masks and ventilators in the country. “The number of isolation beds increased 36.3 times and dedicated ICU beds above 24.6 times to what existed in March 2020. While there was no indigenous manufacturing of PPE with requisite standards at that point, we are now self-sufficient and in a position to even export the same,” the minister added.

The minister also informed that 10.84 crore tablets of hydroxychloroquine have been provided to the state governments. India has also exported tablets to more than 140 countries across the world.

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