The Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday that Kerala, Delhi, West Bengal and Manipur has shown an increase in the number of coronavirus infection between October 3 and November 3. During the same period, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh were the top states which registered a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases, it said. At a press briefing, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said there has been a continuous decline in average daily new COVID-19 cases as well as deaths for the last seven weeks.
The average daily new cases of COVID-19 have declined from 90,346 recorded between September 16 and September 22 to 45,884 registered between October 28 and November 3, he said. "The average daily new deaths due to COVID-19 have declined from 1,165 recorded from September 16 to September 22 to 513 registered between October 28 and November 3." "More than 11 crore COVID-19 tests have been conducted so far. The cumulative, weekly and daily positivity rate is constantly declining and stands at 7.4 per cent, 4.4 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively," the health secretary said.
Asserting that a large part of the country's population was still susceptible to the coronavirus infection, NITI Aayog member (Health) VK Paul, who also heads the National Task Force on COVID-19, urged people to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour and asked people to get themselves tested if they observe any symptom of the viral disease. "We are susceptible (to the virus) to a very large extent and the situation in America and Europe is showing (that). We don't know the behaviour of virus completely. So, we need to save the gains that we have earned in our fight against the pandemic till now," Paul said.
"I request you to kindly get yourself tested if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. It has been proven that even if you contract the disease, there is recovery. Beds are available. We have facilities to carry lakhs of tests. People who you came in contact in the past 8-10 days they must self-quarantine themselves and not expose others," he said. In these times, even the smallest of symptoms, such as cold, cough and sore throat is COVID-19 unless proven otherwise. "It might be other flu too, but if we miss even one positive case, that may result in thousands of cases," Paul said.
Responding to a question over shortage of ventilators in the national capital, Bhushan said in terms of hospital beds, a daily review of beds in central government hospitals is done. As on date, 80 beds in Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, 140 beds in Safdarjung Hospital and more than 1,200 beds in AIIMS are still vacant, he said. Regarding private hospitals, there is a strategy in place which is implemented by the Delhi government. Under this, the total number of COVID beds and the vacant beds are made public, the Union health secretary said.
"As far as ventilators are concerned, we have provided sufficient number of ventilators to Delhi. If there is any demand in future, we would be in a position to provide additional ventilators too," he added.