Govt, Health News, ET HealthWorld


New Delhi: When India registered a record jump of 4,213 COVID-19 cases within the last day, the government on Monday said some relatively large outbreaks have been noticed in certain places and it is important to focus on containment efforts to ensure that the country does not reach the Community transmission stage.

The government also said coronavirus tracking app Aarogya Setu is safe as it was designed keeping in mind human privacy and plays a vital role in India’s fight against COVID-19.

Asked if there has been community transfer of COVID-19 in India, joint secretary of the Ministry of Health Low Agarwal at a press briefing said, “Some clusters have been found here (in the country) and in some cases some large outbreaks have also been noticed.”

“And in this context, if you remember, even AIIMS Director (Dr. Randeep Guleria) had said that if these are not properly contained, the transmission rate would be higher. So it’s important for us now to focus on containment efforts and ensure, that we do not reach a stage of community transfer, ”he said.

Agarwal said 4,213 COVID-19 cases and 97 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours until Monday at. 8, bringing the total cases to 67,152 and the death toll to 2,206.

As many as 20,917 COVID-19 patients have been cured so far, taking the recovery rate to 31.15 percent. 1,559 patients have also recovered over the past 24 hours, which is the largest number of farms in a day, the ministry said.

Agarwal insisted on combating stigma associated with COVID-19, saying that people who develop coronavirus symptoms should not hide them and come forward to report so they receive timely treatment and do not spread infection to their family members and others.

Asked about certain media reports claiming that the government is mulling religion-based mapping of hotspots, Agarwal said it is a very irresponsible, baseless and wrong news.

“It’s a very irresponsible news. Even the Supreme Court has already said that no fake news should be published and any news should be published after verifying the facts,” Agarwal said.

“I appeal to everyone not to encourage non-factual news,” he said, claiming that the spread of COVID-19 has nothing to do with race, religion, territory and proliferation due to lack of precautions and when dos and don’ts are not followed.

Agarwal said the government’s focus is on identifying pockets that have reported a larger number of cases so that strong containment measures can be implemented.

In response to a question, I informed that the specificity (true negative rate identification) of the initially developed antibody detection ELISA test kit for COVID-19 is 97 percent and the sensitivity is 92 percent.

the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune has developed the detection kit that will play a critical role in monitoring the proportion of the population exposed to the infection, Union Health Minister Very Vardhan had said on Sunday.

The Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR) recently canceled orders for about half a million COVID-19 fast antibody test kits from China after they were found to produce inaccurate results.

The test technique is used to detect antibodies in the blood of people who may have had the coronavirus infection.

Department of Biotechnology and Research in biotechnology The Assistance Council COVID-19 research consortium has recommended 70 proposals for funding vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutic treatment and other technologies, Agarwal said.

To a question of whether centralized air conditioning can be used as the railways start running AC trains from Tuesday and there would be no danger of transmission, he said, “Centralized AC can be used, but then airflow must be monitored while it is used. . ”

“It is important to note that if an aerosol-generated problem is experienced, we can, as a precautionary measure, travel without using the centralized alternating current,” he said.

In the revised COVID-19 discharge policy that very mild, mild, and moderate patients can be discharged without testing subject to clinical conditions, Agarwal said the revised criterion specifies that such patients, following discharge, will follow home isolation for an additional seven days.

The policy was revised because several countries have changed their discharge criteria from ‘test-based strategy to’ symptom-based strategy or ‘time-based strategy’, he said.

“A review of ICMR laboratory monitoring data also indicated that after the initial RT-PCR positive results, patients became negative after a median duration of 10 days,” Agarwal said.

“Recent studies have also suggested that the viral load peaks in the pre-symptomatic period (two days before the symptoms) and decreases over the next seven days,” he said.

The official said the discharge policy is not intended for home or facility quarantine patients.

Ajay Sawhney, chairman of Empowered Group 9, which deals with technology and data management, said the Aarogya Setu app is designed to alert people before coming into contact with infected patients and to alert the health care system.

About 9.8 crore people have downloaded the app and it is available in 12 languages, he said.

Information on 697 potential COVID-19 hotspots was generated through the app, and it is safe, used only for health interventions, and does not reveal the identity of people, he said.

About 1.4 lakh Aarogya Setu users have been alerted via Bluetooth contact tracking the possible risk of infection due to proximity to infected patients, Sawhney said.

The app will soon reach a user base of 10 crore. It has set a world record in being the fastest app to reach five crore users, he said.


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