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Doubling rate of Covid-19 cases in India reduced after lockdown, says Health Ministry

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A medic collects swab from the mouth of a woman resident for COVID-19 test in a containment zone at Kurla, Mumbai, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. | PTI
A medic collects swab from the mouth of a woman resident for COVID-19 test in a containment zone at Kurla, Mumbai, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. | PTI


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New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry said on Friday the rate at which the number of coronavirus cases in the country was becoming double in the last one week was 6.2 days, as against three days before the nationwide lockdown was imposed.

At a daily media briefing about updates on COVID-19 situation, Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal claimed that India has been doing better than many other countries on the outcome ratio, which is the number of recoveries from coronavirus infection versus the number of deaths.

“If 80 per cent of the patients in India are recovering and in 20 per cent cases deaths are being reported, then by that standard India has been doing a little better than many other nations on the outcome ratio,” he said.

“Before lockdown, the doubling rate of coronavirus cases was 3 days. Going by the number of cases in the last seven days, the doubling rate has been 6.2 days. In 19 states and Union Territories the doubling rate is less than the national average,” he said.

The health ministry official also said the average growth factor of cases from April 1 has been 1.2, whereas between March 15 and 31 it was 2.1.

This decline of 40 per cent was due to increase in testing, including that of cases with severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and influenza-like illness (ILI), Agarwal said.

He also informed reporters that 1,919 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals with 1.73 lakh isolation beds and 21,800 ICU beds have been readied till now.

The number of novel coronavirus cases in India rose by 1,007 and 23 deaths were reported in 24 hours, taking the tally of total infections to 13,387 and fatalities to 437, the joint secretary in the health ministry said, adding 1,749 people have been cured of the infection so far, which is 13.06 per cent of the total patients.

Agarwal further informed that five lakh rapid antibody testing kits, which arrived from China on Thursday, are being distributed to states for districts with high case burden.

Head of Epidemiology and Communicable diseases at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar said 3,19,400 COVID-19 tests have been conducted so far in the country.

“Out of these, 28,340 tests were conducted on Thursday, of which 23,932 were done at 183 laboratories under ICMR network and the rest at 80 private labs,” he said.

Agarwal said a Group of Ministers held a meeting on Friday to chalk out a roadmap about the lockdown and reviewed efforts of science and technology institutes in diagnosis, vaccines, drugs, hospital equipment accessories and general wellness.


Also read: Health ministry asks Mamata govt to be prepared for dengue outbreak amid Covid-19 crisis


 

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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’

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doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay


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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”


Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot


‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.


Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


 

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