New Delhi: The number of coronavirus hotspots in the country has increased as a result of ‘lack of public support’ at some places and failure to inform authorities in time about suspected cases, the Union Health Ministry said Monday.
With over 1,200 COVID-19 cases reported in the country so far, health ministry officials asserted that rigorous contact tracing and cluster containment strategies are being implemented strictly to check the virus from spreading further.
Addressing the daily press conference to provide updates on the COVID-19 situation in the country, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said 227 cases have been reported in the last 24 hours. He further said wherever even a single case of the pandemic is reported it is as good as a hotspot for the government.
The official said a group of Union Ministers Tuesday took stock of the situation and stressed on the need for readying dedicated COVID-19 hospitals.
“With over 1,200 cases of COVID-19, the number of hotspots in the country has increased. The reason for this sudden increase in cases has been due to lack of public support in some locations and failure to inform authorities in time,” Agarwal said while underlining the need for collective support to fight the battle against coronavirus. “The entire society may have to bear the brunt for the lack of cooperation on the part of even one individual,” asserted Agarwal.
Agarwal also said that the government is making efforts towards increasing the availability of protective gear for medical professionals. He informed that besides making efforts towards developing indigenous products, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has identified suppliers in South Korea, Turkey and Vietnam to improve the capacity of PPE, N-95 masks, ventilators and other equipment as well as to boost logistics in the country during the COVID-19 crisis.
“We have told our procurement agencies and have discussed with MEA that whichever country we plan to procure any of the items from, they should follow the required standards and technical guidelines,” informed Agarwal.
While acknowledging that there have been cases in a few locations of healthcare workers getting infected and also infecting their colleagues, Agarwal clarified that it was ‘not due to any negligence’.
Seeking cooperation from the public to fight the pandemic, Agarwal said there was no need to panic.
As far as home-made masks are concerned, Agarwal said international bodies like WHO have not given any categorical opinion on their usage so far. He, however, said anticipating that a need may arise to make them available, the whole issue was being technically examined by the health ministry and suitable guidelines will soon be issued. He also said not everyone needs to wear masks and stressed on social distancing being a more important measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.