INDIATOP NEWS

40 lakh people kept under surveillance as part of COVID contact-tracing: Centre

New Delhi

Around 40 lakh people have been kept under surveillance as a part of the contact-tracing efforts in the country and 5.4 crore samples were tested for coronavirus till September 10, Union minister Ashwini Choubey told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The minister of state for health said there were 15,290 COVID-treatment facilities with 13,14,171 dedicated isolation beds till September 10.

There are also 2,31,269 oxygen-supported isolation beds and 62,694 ICU beds (including 32,241 ventilator beds).

Guidelines on clinical management of COVID-19 have been issued and are being updated regularly.

States are being supported in terms of supply of logistics, Choubey said.

So far, 1.39-crore PPE kits, 3.42-crore N-95 masks, 10.84-crore hydroxychloroquine tablets, 29,779 ventilators and 1,02,400 oxygen cylinders have been supplied to state and central government hospitals till September 10, according to the minister.

More than 30 vaccine candidates have been supported and they are in different stages of development.

Three candidates are in advanced stage of Phase I, II and III trials, and more than four are in advanced pre-clinical development stage, Choubey said.

A national expert group on vaccine administration for COVID-19 has been constituted on August 7 under the NITI Aayog.

Thirteen clinical trials of repurposed drugs have been undertaken to build a portfolio of therapeutic options for coronavirus patients, he said.

“The government of India has taken a series of actions to prevent, control and mitigate the impact of COVID-19. India followed a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach,” Choubey said.

The prime minister, a high-level group of ministers (GoM), cabinet secretary, committee of secretaries and Health Ministry officials continue to monitor the public health response to COVID-19 in the country, he said.

“The public health actions were taken in a pre-emptive, pro-active, graded manner based on the evolving scenario,” the minister said.

Choubey pointed out that a number of travel advisories were issued to restrict the inflow of international travellers before commercial flights were suspended on March 23.

Till then, a total of 14,154 flights with 15,24,266 passengers have been screened at airports.

Screening was also done at 12 major and 65 minor ports and land border crossings, according to Choubey.

“In the initial part of the pandemic, India evacuated a large number of stranded passengers from then COVID-affected countries (China, Italy, Iran, Japan, Malaysia) and again in the un-lockdown phase, a total of 12,43,176 passengers have been brought back (as on September 9) and followed up,” he said.

The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) is conducting contact tracing through community surveillance.

In the earlier part of the pandemic, this was done for travel-related cases and subsequently for cases being reported from community as a part of containment strategy.

“As on September 10, a total of about 40 lakh persons have been kept under surveillance. There are 1,697 laboratories conducting COVID-19 testing,” he said.

“India is testing is about 1 million samples a day. A total of 5.4 crore samples have been tested so far (as on 10th September).”

The number of people under treatment for COVID-19 includes 1,14,984 in Maharashtra, 54,064 in Karnataka, 32,972 in Tamil Nadu, 24,593 in Uttar Pradesh and 5,066 in Delhi (till Sep 11), 36,217 in Andhra Pradesh (till Sep 10), according to Choubey.

The country saw 33,406 cases of coronavirus and 1,109 fatalities in April, while it registered 1,995,178 cases and 28,777 deaths in August, the minister added.

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