Additional order for about 33 lakh RT-PCR testing kits has been placed, a consignment of 37 lakh rapid testing kits too is expected to arrive very soon: ICMR

Around 5,000 complaints have been resolved through MHA helpline so far, in coordination with states: MHA

The number of COVID-19 positive cases stands at 10,363 as on date. A total of 1,036 people have recovered. A total of 339 people in the country have died because of the COVID-2019 infection. In the last 24 hours, 1,211 new cases, 31 deaths and recovery of 179 persons have been reported. This was informed by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Shri Luv Aggarwal, at the daily media briefing on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on COVID-19, held at National Media Centre, PIB New Delhi today. He further stated that 602 dedicated COVID Hospitals with 1,06,719 isolation beds and 12,024 ICU beds have been prepared, in coordination with states. This number is being augmented continuously.

Referring to the Prime Minister’s address to the nation, in which he announced extension of the nation-wide lockdown till May 3, 2020, Shri Aggarwal recalled that:
PM has stated that India adopted a holistic and integrated approach to managing COVID-19, taking quick and decisive action with an attempt to nip the problem in the bud rather than waiting for the problem to aggravate
PM also said in his address to the nation today, that the collective strength of our people so far has been a true tribute to Baba Saheb Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar.
PM has asked the nation to follow seven steps in order to fight COVID-19.
PM has assured that all the efforts have been made by the Government of India to ensure ample reserve of medicines, food, ration and other essential goods.
As mentioned by the PM, Shri Aggarwal further informed that each city and every district will undergo an evaluation till April 20, 2020. As per the litmus test, selected activities will be allowed from April 20, 2020, in the areas which have controlled the situation well. A detailed guideline will be issued tomorrow by the Government of India.

Quoting WHO’s data of 76,498 confirmed cases and 5,702 deaths across the world yesterday, the Joint Secretary said, “It is due to our collective efforts that in a large country like India, we had only 1,211 positive cases and 31 deaths reported in the last 24 hours”. He exhorted everyone to keep up the battle and diligently follow government guidelines and social distancing and lockdown measures. He added that the government’s effort has been to act in pre-emptive manner. “We started screening 12 – 13 days before COVID-19 has been declared as a public health emergency. Our advance action has been a major contributory factor in how we have been able to manage COVID-19.”Shri Agarwal further stated:


Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India has issued guidelines for controlling spread of COVID-19 in densely populated areas, such as Dharavi in Mumbai. The guideline suggests frugal sanitation and hygiene solutions for community toilets and washing and bathing facilities.


More than 218 Lifeline UDAN flights have transported around 377.5 tons of essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country, with special focus on the North East region, islands territories and hill states.


India Post network has tied up with Indian Drug Manufacturers Association, Director- General of Health Services and online pharmaceutical companies to deliver medicines at doorsteps of hospitals and individual customers, via intra-state & interstate mail arrangements.


SHG women have been playing a vital role as Business Correspondents for banks and Bank Sakhis. They are helping disburse MGNREGA wage payments and payments under women’s PMJDY accounts and PM Kisan Yojana accounts, thereby enabling people to receive the benefits without having to visit banks.


Through a video presentation, Health Ministry highlighted as to how a dedicated COVID Hospital has been set up at AIIMS, New Delhi. The institute has around 270 isolation beds, and more than 150 ICU beds.  The Trauma Centre and Burns & Plastic Surgery Block have been used to form a part of the COVID Hospital. When a patient enters the hospital, he or she is first sent to the holding area. Those who experience coughing are provided with masks and are kept in that hall, ensuring that distancing norms are followed. At Triage Stage-1 part of the COVID Hospital, a patient’s temperature, history and saturation are checked, based upon which it is decided as to whether the patient requires hospital care. The patients who require further investigation are then transferred to Triage Stage 2 where doctors, nurses and para-medics are available. The patient’s clinical examination is done there and vital parameters are taken. Serious patients are sent to the red zone of the hospital.

Answering a media query, Shri Aggarwal stated that those who with symptoms may approach national / state helpline centers or front line workers such as ASHA workers. Field workers have been oriented about the process to be followed, so that they can help in early detection and facilitate proper treatment in hospitals.Replying to a query on demographic profile of COVID-19 cases in India, he said that old age and co morbidity are found to be the two main risk factors; while young too are getting infected, the cure rate among them is high. Responding to a question on testing, He informed that COVID-19 testing is being done as per our sampling criteria; non-criteria-based testing can result in sub-optimal use of testing kits. Besides, we are progressively widening our sampling zone, we are testing those who have SARI or influenza-like illnesses, he informed.Representing the Ministry of Finance, Director General, PIB, Shri Rajesh Malhotra informed that swift implementation of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package is being monitored at the highest level. He said that as on yesterday, more than 32 crore poor people have been given direct cash support amounting to Rs. 29,352 crore under the package.


5.29 crore beneficiaries have been given free ration of food grains under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana.
3,985 MT of pulses have been dispatched to various states/UTs for distribution.
More than 97 Lakh free Ujjwala cylinders have been delivered.
2.1 Lakh members of EPFO have taken benefit of online withdrawal of non-refundable advance from EPFO account amounting to Rs. 510 crore.
1st installment of Rs. 14,946 crore under PM- KISAN Samman Nidhi Yojana has been transferred to 7.47 crore farmers
Rs. 9,930 crore has been disbursed to 19.86 crore woman Jan Dhan account holders
Rs. 1,400 crore has been disbursed to about 2.82 crore elderly persons, widows and disabled persons
2.17 crore building and construction workers have been given financial support amounting to Rs. 3071 crore
Informing that States are working continuously to enforce lockdown measures, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ms. Punya Salila Srivastava stated:
MHA control room is monitoring supply of essential goods and services and also resolving complaints and grievances through helplines. Around 5,000 complaints have been resolved through this helpline so far, in coordination with states.
Labour Ministry has set up 20 control rooms / grievance centres to address wage-related grievances of workers. Information on helplines is available on the website of the Ministry.
A total of 2,31,902 COVID-19 tests have been done till yesterday, while 21,635 samples were tested yesterday, informed the representative of ICMR Dr. Raman R. Gangakhedkar. He further informed that 166 labs under ICMR network and 70 private labs have been approved to conduct COVID-19 tests.Dr. Gangakhedkar further stated that ICMR has received additional consignment of RT-PCR COVID-19 testing kits with which it will be possible to meet testing requirements for a considerably long time. Additional order for about 33 lakh RT-PCR testing kits has been placed and a consignment of 37 lakh rapid testing kits too is expected to arrive very soon.

The Principal Director General of Press Information Bureau, Shri K. S. Dhatwalia gave a presentation on Aarogya Setu mobile App, explaining its basic features, benefits and its role in fighting COVID-19.