Describing the effectiveness of the lockdown in containing the spread of novel coronavirus, Lav Agarwal today said the doubling rate of covid cases has slowed down from 3.4 days before lockdown to 7.5 days.

“Based on the last seven days, India’s doubling rate has improved to 7.5%,” joint secretary health ministry said addressing presspersons. As per data on April 19, in 18 states, the rate is better than the national average, added Agarwal.

After Mahe in Puducherry and Kodagu in Karnataka, Pauri Garhwal in Uttarakhand becomes the third district to not report any case in the last 28 days. The number of districts where no case has been reported in last 14 days has increased to 59. Goa is now COVID-19 free, said Agarwal.

The doubling rate of the cases is considered a marker of how fast the infection is spreading. On that basis, the government earlier said the three-week lockdown proved effective and extended it till May 3.

India so far had 17,265 cases of coronavirus and saw the largest single-day spike over the last 24 hours, when 1,553 cases were detected. The data from Union Health Ministry also shows that 543 people have died. Thirty-six deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

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