Rediff.com  » News » 85 districts haven't reported COVID-19 cases in 14 days: Govt

85 districts haven't reported COVID-19 cases in 14 days: Govt

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
April 27, 2020 22:27 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

A total of 85 districts in 25 states and Union territories have not reported any fresh COVID-19 case in the last 14 days, while 16 districts have not registered new coronavirus infections in 28 days, the Union health ministry said on Monday.

 

IMAGE: Medics wearing protective suits collect swab sample of Chandni Mahal residents, after the area was identified as COVID-19 hotspot, in New Delhi. Photograph: Shahbaz Khan/PTI Photo

However, two districts -- Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar in Punjab -- which did not record a fresh case in the last 28 days, reported new COVID-19 cases on Monday, it added.

Addressing the daily briefing to provide COVID-19 updates in the country, Joint Secretary in the ministry Lav Agarwal stressed on the need to maintain a vigil at all times so that no new cases surface in more districts.

He also urged people not to stigmatise coronavirus patients as that would discourage them from coming forward for treatment at an early stage, leading to a rise in complexities in the treatment.

He said fear and lack of understanding make us stigmatise patients and urged people to avoid spreading misinformation and panic.

"Our battle is with the sickness and not with a sick person. Due to stigma, many times patients try to hide and avoid seeking timely treatment. This does not only bring harm to them, but also to their family and the whole society," Agarwal said.

No community or area should be labelled for the spread of COVID-19, he said, while stressing that healthcare and sanitation workers or police should not be targeted as they are helping to bring the crisis under control.

The official stressed on the need for an intensive campaign to address the issue of stigma attached to the disease.

"We have to understand that there is no risk of transmission from recovered patients. They, in fact, can be a potential source of healing for antibodies, using plasma therapy," he said.

"COVID-19 does not see race, religion, colour, caste, creed, language or borders before striking," Agarwal said, recalling the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and stated that 'our response and conduct should attach primacy to unity and brotherhood'.

He further said a sufficient number of kits for conducting RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 are available, while adding that we are still not using 100 per cent of our capacity.

"Moreover, we have also ensured required geographical dispersion, ensuring availability in each region," Agarwal, said while reiterating that the RT-PCR test is the gold standard for identification of COVID-19 patients.

On Maharashtra reporting a large number of coronavirus cases, he said the challenges are bigger at places where the population density is high and stressed on the importance of taking proper action in accordance with our containment strategy.

Central teams have been discussing the issue at the highest-level in states, he added.

Agarwal further said the Centre has advised the states that except for COVID-19 dedicated hospitals, other hospitals should continue to provide services as usual.

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 886 and the number of cases climbed to 28,380 in the country on Monday, according to the Union health ministry.

A total of 6,361 people have recovered from the disease in the country so far.

"Thus, around 22.41 per cent of the total patients have recovered in the country," a senior official in the ministry said.

At the press briefing, Chairman of Empowered Group 5 (EG5) Parameswaran Iyer shared updates related to the supply chain and logistical arrangements made in the country since the COVID-19 outbreak to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic and the measures taken to control its spread in the country.

Iyer, who is also the secretary in the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, shared the steps being taken by the government to tackle challenges in four critical sectors -- agriculture, manufacturing, logistics and feeding vulnerable groups.

He said the percentage of trucks ferrying food and pharmaceuticals increased from 46 on March 30 to 76 on April 25.

In the same period, the percentage of railway rakes moved increased from 67 to 76, the percentage of traffic handled by ports rose from 70 to 87 and the percentage of operational major 'mandis' went up from 61 to 79.

Tracking key supply chain indicators, the official said tomato, onion and potato prices (per kg) have remained largely stable during the lockdown.

Also, five kg of wheat or rice and one kg of pulses have been distributed under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana, and 84.3 lakh MT grains were allocated per month for a total of 70 crore beneficiaries.

More than 1.5 crore people are being provided with cooked meals every day by government agencies, NGOs and industries, Iyer said.

Speaking about the role of EG5, he said the government is focussing on easing policy and implementation bottlenecks in the supply chain of essential items, troubleshooting specific bottlenecks on the ground, tracking key indicators and disseminating best practices of the 'supply warriors'.

For this, Iyer said, they are collaborating with line departments, Ministry of Home Affairs and other key stakeholders from the industry, including food and pharma businesses, transporters, wholesalers, retailers and 'mandis'.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
SHARE THIS STORY