The 16th meeting of Group of Ministers (GoM) was held in New Delhi through video conference in which containment measures of COVID-19 was reviewed. The GoM Chairman Dr Harsh Vardhan said that India is in a much better place than rest of the world but there was no scope for complacency. The GoM was also apprised about the growing medical infrastructure in the country.
It was informed that as of 9th June, the COVID related health infrastructure was strengthened with the availability of 958 dedicated COVID Hospitals with over 1.67 lakh isolation beds, over 21,000 ICU beds and over 73,000 oxygen-supported beds. He said, besides, 2,313 dedicated COVID Health Centres and 7,525 COVID Care Centres are now available to combat COVID-19 in the country. The ventilators available for COVID beds are 21,494. The Centre has further placed an order of 60 thousand 848 ventilators.
It was also informed that ICMR’s testing capacity has increased through 553 government and 231 private laboratories and more than 49 lakh cumulative tests have been conducted in the country so far. It was also apprised that a total of one lakh 29 thousand and 214 people were cured. This takes the total recovery rate from the infection to 48.47 per cent. The total number of active cases now stood at one lakh 29 thousand 917.
During the meeting, a brief snapshot was presented to the GoM highlighting the comparative position of India with respect to other countries in similar stage of easing lockdown, underscoring the benefits that had accrued from the lockdown. The GoM was also briefed on the progress made in the spheres of the tasks assigned to the 11 Empowered Groups.
Dr Harsh Vardhan strongly reiterated that there is no space for complacency. He also reminded everyone to download Aarogya Setu app which will help in self-risk assessment and in protection against COVID-19. More than 12.55 crore people in the country have downloaded the app so far. Chairman of Empowered Group-5 Parameswaran Iyer presented the critical strategies adopted to ease the burden of lockdown while enabling supply of critical items for the country to fight the pandemic.
Dr. Raman Gangakhedkar from ICMR presented details on the status of testing labs, augmented capacities for testing across the country and also enlightened the GoM on various issues related to HCQ, Remdesivir and sero-surveillance studies. External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai were among those attended the meeting. (With inputs from AIR)