Adequately prepared against COVID-19: Govt

Annu Dewan
File Photo: Health Ministry press conference on coronavirus

File Photo: Health Ministry press conference on coronavirus

The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday gave details of the current state of preparedness of the country against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lav Aggarwal, Joint secretary to ministry of Health told the media that dedicated flights had distributed around 377 tons of medical cargo across the country.

“More than 218 Lifeline Udan flights transported around 377.5 tons of essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country, with special focus on the North East region, islands territories and hill states.”

According to the government, 602 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals having 1,06,719 isolation beds and 12,024 ICU beds have been kept ready in the country.

The Indian Council for medical research has tested around 2.3 lakhs samples so far.

Dr R Gangakhedkar, chief scientist of ICMR, said, while “we have are close to about 33 lakh kits for RT-PCR (Reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction) tests, 37 lakh rapid kits are expected to come at any point of time.”

The ICMR said, with a sufficient number of RT-PCR kits, the country would be able to sustain for a longer period of time.

According to the Finance Ministry, more than 32 crore poor people have been provided financial support of Rs 29,352 crore till yesterday. Free ration and food grains have been distributed to 5.29 crore beneficiaries under Garib Kalyan Yojana.

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown by 19 more days till May 3. Detailed guidelines about the implementation of the next phase of the lockdown will be announced on Wednesday.