Commenting on covid’s chain of transmission, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary health ministry said that if no covid case is reported for 28 days from specific area, we can say that the chain of transmission has been broken. He was replying to a question on the rationale behind government’s 40-day lockdown period and how will it help to contain the virus.

Speaking about India’s medical capacity to fight the virus, the official said 602 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals having 1,06,719 isolation beds and 12,024 ICU beds have been readied in country. Adding further he gave the example of the Trauma Centre of the AIIMS- state of the art facility fully dedicated to treat covid-19 patients.

Giving a quick update on the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, finance ministry spokesperson said that the scheme is being monitored at the highest level. As of yesterday, more than 32 crore poor people have been given direct cash support of Rs 29,352 crore under the package.

Adding on the availability of RT-PCR kits, R Gangakhedkar from ICMR said that India has received another installment of these kits. The Indian Council of Medical Research has already placed orders for 500,000 kits. Last week, it also raised a fresh tender for 4.5 million more rapid testing kits for deliveries starting May 1.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra had extended the countrywide lockdown till May 3. He also said that the next one week will be the most important in our overall covid fight- where the government will keep a strict vigil at micro levels- tehsil, district and the state. “Till April 20, we will monitor how well the districts are doing. In places where the situation is improving, few relaxations will be made,” said PM Modi.

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