Almost one out of every three hospitalised patients has recovered from COVID-19 till date: Health Ministry

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New Delhi / Mumbai, May 8, 2020 : A total of 37,916 people are under active medical supervision as on today. 16,540 people have recovered from the disease as on date, which takes the recovery rate to 29.36%. It also means that one out of every three hospitalised patients have recovered from COVID-19 till date. While 3,390 new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours, 1,273 cases of recovery have also been reported. This was informed by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Shri Lav Agarwal, at the daily media briefing on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on COVID-19, held at National Media Centre, PIB New Delhi today. The recovery rate is constantly going up, added the Joint Secretary. According to data obtained till yesterday, 4.7% patients are in ICU, 1.15% has ventilator support and 3.2% patients require oxygen support, he further said.

The Joint Secretary informed that 216 districts have not reported any case of COVID-19 till date. Also, there are 42 districts with no fresh cases in last 28 days, 29 districts with no fresh cases in last 21 days, 36 districts with no fresh cases in last 14 days and 46 districts with no fresh cases in last 7 days.

The Joint Secretary stated that Project PLACID – Phase-II Open-Label Randomised Controlled Trial of ICMR has received approval of COVID-19 National Ethics Committee. Under this, ICMR will conduct trial in 21 hospitals, to assess safety & efficacy of convalescent plasma. 5 of these hospitals are in Maharashtra; 4 in Gujarat; two hospitals each in Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh; and one hospital in Punjab, Karnataka, Telangana and Chandigarh.

The Joint Secretary also stated that:

Indian Railways has converted 5,231 coaches into COVID Care Centres, which will be placed at 215 identified railway stations. These coaches will be used for treatment of very mild and mild COVID-19 patients. Healthcare staff will be provided by Railways in 85 stations; in other 130 stations, the state will provide staff and essential medicines. Railways has deployed more than 2,500 doctors and 35,000 paramedic staff to meet the COVID-19 challenge.

Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan and AYUSH Minister Shri Shripad Naik have launched Ayush Sanjivani application yesterday. It has been developed by AYUSH Ministry along with Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology. Additionally, two inter-disciplinary clinical research studies have also been launched, as a joint initiative by Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Ministry of Science & Technology, with technical support of ICMR have also been launched. The studies aim to study the impact of Ayurveda interventions as prophylaxis and as an add-on to standard care to COVID-19.

Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan held meetings with Health Ministers of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana over video conferencing today. The discussions included preparedness efforts and containment measures.

Health Minister held meetings with Health Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Gujarat and Maharashtra yesterday. He assured the health ministers of all possible assistance to the states. Dr. Harsh Vardhan also stressed on the necessity for making arrangements for testing and sampling for SARI/ILI cases amongst migrant workers coming from these states, apart from quarantine arrangements for them.

Health Ministry has issued additional guidelines for facility quarantine / isolation of returnees from abroad / contacts / isolation of suspects or confirmed cases in private facilities like hotels, service apartments, lodges etc. As migrant workers return to their home states, it is essential that all guidelines and precautions regarding infection prevention and management are followed. We request workers to understand that this is for their own benefit, their people, village and city.

Today, on World Red Cross Day, the Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan also praised the distribution of relief materials by Red Cross volunteers. As we talk of relaxations to lockdown, we have to deal with the challenge of learning to live with the virus, for this we need to make the required prevention measures a part of our life, through a behaviour change process.

Stating that the Centre is focussed on providing as much relaxations as possible to the citizens, while implementing the third phase of lockdown from May 4, 2020; the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ms. Punya Salila Srivastava briefed that:

Railways has run 222 Shramik Special Trains for movement of stranded persons, more than 2.5 lakh people have made use of this facility so far.

The process of bringing back stranded Indians to the country, through non-scheduled commercial flights and Indian Navy ships, has started yesterday (May 7, 2020). According to the SOP issued for this purpose, stranded Indians at foreign locales have to register at the office of Indian Embassy or High Commissioner in the country where he or she is located. Pregnant women, students, people whose visa will lapse soon and medical emergency cases will be given priority for the journey. Only asymptomatic persons will be given permission to travel. The protocols of Civil Aviation and Health Ministry are to be followed while travelling. SOP has also been issued for movement of persons stranded in India who are desirous to travel abroad.

An Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee comprising officials of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Armed Forces, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air India has been constituted, to implement SOP for evacuation of stranded people to and from India.

INS Jalashwa has reached Maldives for the purpose of bringing back stranded Indians. The navy ship will start its return journey with around 700 passengers today. The ship is scheduled to reach Kochi on May 10. Two flights – one from Abu Dhabi to Kochi and another one from Dubai to Kozhikode have reached back with 354 stranded passengers. Today, a flight from Singapore has reached Delhi with more than 250 passengers. 5 more flights are scheduled to return with stranded Indians today itself.

The facilities of multiple entry and life-long visa for OCI card-holders have been stopped. But, OCI card holders who are already in India will be allowed to stay in the country till any period of time. Those OCI card holders who need to urgently travel to India may consult Indian Missions for the purpose.

The foreigners in India whose visa are about to expire, will be given an extension of their visa period on gratis basis, on the basis of their online application. This facility will be applicable for both regular and e-visa; and no overstay penalty will be charged for this extension. This will be applicable for a period of 30 days after international flights are resumed from India.

In reply to a media query, Shri Agarwal said, some states have witnessed a rise in cases during the last few days. He said it is necessary to strengthen containment efforts to stop the rise, along with proper adherence to measures such as physical distancing at field level.

Responding to another media query, Shri AgCarwal said, possibilities of a spike in cases arise when required precautions are not taken. Stating this, he once again appealed to follow all do’s and don’ts and processes in terms of clinical management of COVID-19 and urged for community support in all these efforts.