17 states earmarking hospitals for COVID-19 treatment: Health Ministry


Coronavirus: Suspected patient at Gandhi hospital (PTI Photo)

Coronavirus: Suspected patient at Gandhi hospital (PTI Photo)

The Health Ministry on Thursday said that 17 states have started work on earmarking hospitals for dedicated treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Briefing the press on the coronavirus situation, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said, “There is still no hard evidence to say there has been community transmission of coronavirus in India.” Agarwal said.

He also denied that the virus spreads through mosquitoes.

Assuring the general public, Agarwal said that India is geared for COVID-19 challenge.

The Ministry of External Affairs said that a discussion on travel restrictions has been conducted during a meeting of the Group of Ministers and it will be conveyed to the public soon.

Agarwal said if “we can maintain 100 per cent social distancing than it will be an effective intervention in breaking chain of coronavirus transmission”.

The number of coronavirus cases climbed to 649 in India on Thursday and the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 13, with one death reported each from Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, according to the Health Ministry.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days from Tuesday midnight, asserting in an emotional appeal “with folded hands” that unless India’s 130 crore people practised social distancing, the country will lose the war against the coronavirus outbreak and slide back 21 years.