1,684 new cases; closely monitoring 9.45 lakh suspects: Govt.

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday that its robust surveillance system is closely monitoring around 9.45 lakh suspected Covid-19 cases across the country.
Starting from stopping international flights to block the transmission of the infection from abroad, graded steps, including the nationwide lockdown, have been taken to halt the internal chain of transmission of coronavirus, said the ministry.
The Ministry said the total number of confirmed cases in India stood at 23,077 on Monday, while 718 people have succumbed to the dreaded virus so far. As many as 4,748 people have been cured so far and the total number of active cases in the country is 17,610.
“A total of 1,684 new cases were added in the last 24 hours, while 491 people were cured in the same period. The recovery rate of coronavirus patients is 20.57 per cent. No new case has been reported from 80 districts in the last 14 days,” the Health Ministry said.
The official said that through a graded, pre-emptive and pro-active approach, Centre is taking several steps along with the states/UTs for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19.
“As of today, 15 districts in the country which earlier had cases have not reported any fresh cases since the last 28 days. Besides districts already highlighted, three new districts which got added to this list include — Durg & Rajnandgaon from Chhattisgarh; and Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh”, said the Health Ministry.
An official of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said that 9.45 lakh suspected cases are either under quarantine or home isolation, and they are being closely monitored.
“Around 9.45 Lakh people are under the surveillance network at present; prompt sampling of these people has been undertaken upon detection of symptoms,” said the official.
He said surveillance networks have been set up at the district level as well, so that household surveys, quarantine and isolation are done as part of the cluster containment plan.
“Our surveillance mechanism was pushed into work even before the first Covid-19 case was reported in India. This played an important role in helping us contain the spread of the infection,” the official added.
Luv Agarwal, Joint Secretary at the Health Ministry, said the decision to impose the nationwide lockdown was a timely one, which has been effective in controlling the spread of coronavirus.
V.K. Paul, Chairman of the Empowered Group 1, added that without the lockdown, there would have been an estimated 1 lakh Covid-19 cases in the country.
“The doubling rate of coronavirus cases is close to 10 days now (in March it was 3 days), and this has happened because the country has changed its behaviour to control the disease,” Paul said.
“Our analysis shows that the lockdown has been effective in slowing the doubling rate of Covid-19, thus saving many lives,” he added.

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