India has the capacity of manufacturing 5 lakh diagnostic kits daily in the next 6-8 weeks, said Dr VK Paul, Chairman, Empowered Group 1, on Friday, while stating that the manufacturing has already begun.
"The manufacturing of diagnostic kits in India has begun. Our indigenous capacity will be able to manufacture 5 lakh kits daily in the next 6-8 weeks," said Dr Paul during a joint press conference here.
The Central government has formed the Empowered Group 1 for coordinating medical emergency management plan in view of coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Paul, also a member of NITI Aayog, further said that at least seven companies are producing testing kits and "as the viral culturing has been done by the ICMR, the vaccine development is also going on."
As many as 56 lakh trainings have been given to COVID-19 warriors, he said while adding that "30 lakh personal protective equipment (PPE) kits have been given to the States. 109 domestic manufacturers, with 3 lakh per day domestic PPE manufacturing capacity, have been enlisted."
He said that India has more than one lakh per day testing capacity now. "In less than two months, we have ramped up our health infrastructure. We have 1,093 COVID facilities now, around 3.24 lakh hospital beds have been prepared for the coronavirus treatment and 6.5 lakh beds in COVID care centres are ready," he said.
Dr Paul said that on behalf of the Government of India, we appreciate the nation in achieving the milestone of providing one crore treatments under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana. "This is a huge achievement. It shows the nation's resolve to achieve Health for All," he said.
During the press briefing, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said, "Till now 48,534 patients have been cured of COVID-19 and total 66,330 cases are under active medical supervision."
"In the last 24 hours, 3,334 have been cured. Our recovery rate is increasing and is now at 41 per cent. The improvement has been noticed in the case of mortality. The mortality rate has now come down to 3.02 per cent. Our focus is on those states and districts where more cases are reported," he said.
The growth rate of COVID-19 cases has seen a steady fall from April 3 as the lockdown was able to put a brake on the spread of the coronavirus in the country, said Dr Paul.
"The growth rate of coronavirus cases has witnessed a steady fall from April 3, as the lockdown was able to put a brake on the speed of growth. The number of cases today would have been much higher had lockdown not been implemented," added Dr Paul.
He further said the lockdown was timely, graded, proactive and pre-emptive public health measure to fight the coronavirus pandemic. "It has been a part and parcel of our overall strategy," he said.
"Like the number of cases, the growth rate of the number of COVID-19 deaths too has fallen significantly due to lockdown, marking a notable difference between pre-lockdown and post-lockdown situations," he said.
Talking about the effect of lockdown, the Empowered Group 1 chairman said: "The confinement of COVID-19 to certain areas has been due to actions taken during the lockdown. It enabled us to be more prepared for the future."
He said that due to the lockdown, 80 per cent of active cases are in just five states and more than 60 per cent cases are in just five cities.
"This is no small achievement. It also gives us the confidence to open up other areas. Despite being such a large nation, due to lockdown, the coronavirus outbreak has remained confined to limited areas," he said.
According to Dr Paul, the lockdown has saved a lot of lives as it averted a large number of coronavirus cases that otherwise would have happened and "we are confident that we are on the right track." (ANI)