On Friday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that the Indian Council of Medical research has received approval from the National Ethics Committee to conduct the Phase-II of plasma therapy trials. They also mentioned that these trials will be conducted in 21 hospitals across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, TN, Madhya Pradesh, UP, Punjab, Karnataka, Telangana, and Chandigarh.
Health Ministry’s Joint Secretary on the Growth rate of COVID-19
The Joint Secretary of Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said that India’s COVID-19 recovery rate is now 29.36%, which implies that almost one out of three hospitalized people have recovered. He further added that there is a total of 216 districts that haven’t reported any case of COVID-19 to date. Also, there are 42 districts with no new fresh COVID cases in the last 28 days.
He further added that 3.2 percent of total active Covid-19 cases are on oxygen support, 4.2 percent in ICU and 1.1 percent on ventilator: A total of 3,390 Covid-19 cases and 103 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours till Friday 8 am, taking the total number of cases to 67,152 and death toll to 20,917, according to the ministry.
Agarwal added that the district will provide a new list of districts falling under the red, green, and orange zones to the states. This would be an updated list based on the number of active cases and the doubling rate.
“They are widely varying that determining field-level action based on that will be slightly difficult. We do an analysis based on the current growth rate of cases and doubling rate, according to analysis, our doubling rate is now 10 days and simultaneously, we do an analysis of districts and cities where cases are rising,” Agarwal said.
Railway Coaches turned into COVID Centres and AYUSH Ministry launching ‘Ayush Sanjivani’
While briefing further, Agarwal said that Indian Railways have converted 5,321 coaches into COVID care centres. These coaches are meant only for those patients who are experiencing very mild COVID symptoms. Further, on the 7th of May, Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan and AYUSH Minister Shri Shripad Naik launched an application called Ayush Sanjivani. It has been developed by AYUSH Ministry along with the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology.
“As we talk of relaxations to lockdown, we have to deal with the challenge of learning to live with the virus, for this we need to make the required prevention measures a part of our life, through a behavior change process,” an official of health ministry added.
Further Briefing on Lockdown Phases, Relaxation, Evacuation and Visa Extension
The Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ms. Punya Salila Srivastava briefed about the possible relaxation that has been provided to the citizens in the third phase of lockdown from May 4, 2020. She said that for the movement of stranded people, Railways have deployed 222 Shramik Special Trains by which 2.5 lakh people have been facilitated.
“The government intends to give relaxations to people within the lockdown guidelines. These trains are part of this endeavor”, she further added.
She said that an Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee comprising officials from ministries of Health, External Affairs and Home Affairs, Civil Aviation and Armed Forces, and Air India has been created for the evacuation of the stranded people to and from India.
“All stranded Indians can get registered at respective missions…The travelers will be screened before taking up the flight and only asymptomatic travelers will be allowed,” she said, quoting (SOPs) the standard operating procedures.
Also, for the foreigners in India whose visa is about to expire, they will be given an extension of their visa period on a gratis basis. An online application procedure will be mandatory for the same. She also mentioned that no overstay penalty will be charged for this extension. This will be applicable for a period of 30 days after international flights are resumed from India.
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