‘Lockdown helped control Covid-19 infections’

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Mumbai, June 17 (IANS) The success of the series of lockdowns can be gauged from the fact that the number of Covid-19 infections have drastically reduced in the country over the past three months, officials said.
In a presentation during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interaction with various state Chief Ministers, it was stated that before lockdown the infection rate was 24.3 per cent which plummeted to 13 per cent in lockdown 1.0, fell to 6.1 per cent in lockdown 2.0, dropped to 5 per cent in lockdown 3.0 and was down to 4.7 per cent in lockdown 4.0.
Currently during Unlock 1.0, the infection rate stands at 3.8 per cent, belying apprehensions in various quarters.
In his address, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray listed out the various measures initiated as part of #MissionBeginAgain in the state, even as it was battered by Cyclone Nisarga on June 3.
He mentioned the foreign investments agreements worth around Rs.16,000 crore signed by the state with a dozen major international companies from USA, China, South Korea, Singapore and others which would provide employment to 14,000 people, as part of ‘Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0’ this week.
Thackeray sought the centre’s clearance for certain medicines to be used for Covid-19 treatment as well as directions to nationalized banks to extend loans to the farming community and common rule for all examinations around the country.
He informed the PM that the state has already arranged for around 300,000 beds and set up field hospitals in tune with the ‘Chase the Virus’ initiative of the government.
Though adequate numbers of PPE kits and masks were available, the state might experience shortage of ventilators especially in the rural areas, said CM.
Citing other developments, Thackeray said that the state has ramped testing facilities in a big way through 97 labs in the public and private sectors, which is a huge jump from the single test lab available three months ago.
From only three isolation hospitals, the state today has 282 dedicated Covid-19 hospitals, 434 dedicated Covid health centres, 1,631 dedicated Covid centres spread across all 36 districts.
The state presently has over 2.81 lakh isolation beds, 37,000-plus beds with oxygen facilities, nearly 8,000 ICU beds, and another 80,000 beds in 1,543 quarantine centres, 3,028 ventilators, 5.63 lakh PPEs, and 10.77 lakh masks.