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Let there be no illusion that COVID-19 will go after May 3: Chhattisgarh Health Minister

No one should be under any illusion that COVID-19 will disappear on May 3 when the second phase of the lockdown ends and we should learn to live with it, Chhattisgarh Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo said at a press conference organised by the Congress through videoconference.

Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma, too, spoke at the press conference.

“The lockdown, at best, can manage to control the spread to some extent, but we should know that the novel coronavirus is not going to go. A huge population will get infected with the virus, we should be ready for it. We should learn to live with it,” Mr. Deo said. He said the 40-day lockdown should be treated as a training period. “We will have to use the precautions that we have adopted now in the days to come,” he said.

Mr. Deo said experts advised his government that in Chhattisgarh, at least 10% of the population would be infected, but only 80% of this segment would remain asymptomatic and act as carriers. The remaining 20% would reach hospital and only 2.5% would need ventilator support. Based on the projections of these experts, the State was staring at 6,000 casualties. He clarified that these were only projections and not a peer-reviewed research. “This is only to help us prepare for all eventualities,” he said.

He criticised the Union government for the delay in expanding the testing facilities. “We should have been far more pro-active. We should have increased testing right from the beginning, instead of depending on the government centres alone. Now we have 220 testing centres; even these are not enough. We are running at least two months behind schedule,” he said.

Mr. Sharma said the Rajasthan government’s decision to suspend the use of rapid testing kits was vindicated by the announcement of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Tuesday. He accused the BJP of politicising the issue. Rajasthan had conducted the highest number of tests in India and it would soon be able to screen 10,000 persons a day, he said.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 2:39:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/let-there-be-no-illusion-that-covid-19-will-go-after-may-3-chhattisgarh-health-minister/article31410714.ece

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