216 districts in country have not reported any COVID-19 cases till now: Health ministry

New Delhi, May 8 (PTI) As many as 216 districts in the country have not reported any COVID-19 cases till now, 42 districts have not registered any infections in the last 28 days and 29 districts have not recorded any case in the last 21 days, the Union health ministry said on Friday.

The ministry asserted that if dos and don’ts are followed, the peak in number of COVID-19 cases can be avoided.

Addressing a press conference, joint secretary in the health ministry Lav Agarwal said India’s recovery rate stands at 29.36 per cent with 16,540 COVID-19 patients cured till now, including 1,273 who recovered in the last 24 hours.

A total of 3,390 COVID-19 cases and 103 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours till Friday 8 am, taking the total number of cases to 56,342 and death toll to 1,886, according to the ministry.

Giving a district-wise situation, Agarwal said there are 216 districts in which no COVID-19 case has been reported till date. Forty-two districts have had no fresh cases in the last 28 days, there are 29 districts with no fresh cases in the last 21 days, 36 districts with no fresh cases in the last 14 days and 46 districts with no fresh cases in the last seven days, he said.

The health ministry on May 1 classified 733 districts in the country as 130 in the red zone, 284 in the orange zone and 319 in the green zone, taking into consideration incidence of cases of COVID-19, doubling rate, extent of testing and surveillance feedback.

Asked about AIIMS Delhi Director, Dr Randeep Guleria’s remarks citing data that the peak of the disease in India may be reached in June or July, Agarwal said, “If we follow dos and don'ts, we may not reach the peak in number of COVID-19 cases and our curve may remain flat.” Agarwal also said that that the ICMR will conduct clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy in 21 hospitals.

The hospitals where the trials will be conducted comprise five from Maharashtra, four from Gujarat, two each from Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, UP and one each from Karnataka, Chandigarh, Punjab, Telangana.

He said 3.2 per cent of total active COVID-19 cases are on oxygen support, 4.2 per cent in ICU and 1.1 per cent on ventilator: During the briefing, Agarwal also said the railways has converted 5,231 coaches into COVID Care Centres which will be placed at 215 identified railway stations and will be used for treatment of very mild and mild COVID19 patients.

“As migrant workers return to their home states, it is essential that all guidelines and precautions regarding infection prevention and management are to be followed, we request workers to understand that this is for their own benefit, their people, village and city,” Agarwal said. PTI PLB ASK ANB