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Coronavirus | AIIMS director says cases likely to hit peak in June-July

Samples being collected for testing at Ajmer.

Samples being collected for testing at Ajmer.   | Photo Credit: -

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says India is doing better, launches two AYUSH-based studies.

India registered 3,561 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 52,952. With 89 deaths, the tally mounted to 1,783 on Thursday.

The country currently has 35,902 active cases, with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director Randeep Guleria stating that according to data released by experts and going by the current trend, the cases are likely to peak in June-July.

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“While predictions vary from May to August and keep changing depending on parameters used according to modelling data and the way our cases are increasing currently, it is likely that our case peak can come in June and July. There are many variables to this and an exact prediction isn’t possible,” said Dr. Guleria.

According to data from the Union Health Ministry on Thursday, 15,266 persons have been cured so far with 1,084 patients cured in the past 24 hours. However, the State Health Departments put the total number of cases at 54,299, of which 36,761 are active. The number of deaths rose to 1,832.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said that in comparison to other countries, India was in a better condition as the fatality rate was 3.3% and recovery rate was 28.83%.

“Currently there are 4.8% patients in ICU, 1.1% on ventilators and 3.3% on oxygen support of the active cases. The testing capacity has increased in the country and it is now standing at 95,000 tests per day with 327 government laboratories and 118 private laboratories. Cumulatively 13,57,442 tests have been done so far for COVID-19,” he said.

The Minister said that currently there were 180 districts with no new cases in the past week, 180 districts with no new cases in 7-13 days, 164 districts which had not had any new case in 14-20 days and 136 districts with no new cases since the last 21-28 days.

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“There are 13 States/Union Territories — Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir UT, Kerala, Ladakh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Odisha — which have not reported any case in the last 24 hours. While Daman and Diu, Sikkim, Nagaland and Lakshadweep have not reported a single case till date,” Dr. Vardhan said.

The Union Minister said India now had 130 hotspot districts, 284 non-hotspot districts and 319 non-affected districts.

As of now India had 821 dedicated COVID hospitals with 1,50,059 beds (1,32,219 isolation beds and 17,840 ICU beds) and 1,898 dedicated COVID Health Centres with 1,19,109 beds (1,09,286 isolation beds and 9,823 ICU beds) along with 7,569 quarantine centres.

“States need to focus on more effective surveillance, contact tracing and early diagnosis to keep low fatality rate,” said the Minister. Surveillance for Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) / Influenza Like Illness (ILI) should be intensified in unaffected districts and districts which had not reported cases for the past 14 days.

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“Such measures will help to indicate the presence of any possible hidden infection at an early stage, helping in its timely containment,” he added.

The Health Ministry had also alerted States to be vigilant now with the surge in number of migrant labourers expected to reach back home.

“A robust strategy and mechanism needs to be drawn up for their testing, quarantine, and treatment of the positive cases. Some States shall also see immigrants from abroad too. An effective strategy also needs to be put in place for their testing, institutional quarantine and treatment, if needed,” said the Minister.

Dr. Vardhan on Thursday launched the ‘Sanjivani’ App and two AYUSH-based studies related to COVID-19. The Minister said COVID-19 management had provided a potent platform for alliance between the Health Ministry, the AYUSH Ministry and other scientific bodies.

Ayurveda research

Announcing the commencing of the two collaborative clinical research studies on Ayurveda interventions as Prophylaxis and as an add-on to standard care to COVID-19, the Minister said these studies would re-establish the importance of AYUSH-pathies.

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“Ashwagandha for the Prophylaxis against SARS-COV-2 in high risk group and effectiveness of Ayurveda formulation as an adjunct to ‘Standard of Care’ for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 is being looked at,” noted Dr. Vardhan.

The study would be carried out through four research councils under the Ministry of AYUSH and national institutes in 25 States and several State governments, covering approximately 5 lakh population.

“The outcome of the study is expected to pave a new horizon in understanding the preventive potential of AYUSH interventions during pandemics like COVID-19 through scientific evidence,” added the Minister.

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The ‘Sanjivani’ mobile app is aimed at helping generate data on acceptance and usage of AYUSH advocacies and measures among the population and its impact in prevention of COVID-19, noted the Ministry. “It is developed by the Ministry of AYUSH in collaboration with other agencies and shall reach out to a target of 50 lakh people,” it added.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 9:08:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-aiims-director-says-cases-likely-to-hit-peak-in-june-july/article31529932.ece

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