'COVID-19 outbreak under control, doubling rate slowed'

Coronavirus outbreak under control, doubling rate has slowed: Centre

Representative image. (Credit: Reuters Photo)

The government’s top health advisor on Friday said the coronavirus curve in India had “begun to flatten”, with the doubling rate of the infection slowing down to 10 days. 

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, V K Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog, credited the robust surveillance network set up by the National Centre for Disease Control and the nationwide lockdown for slowing the doubling rate.

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“The curve has begun to flatten. Had we not taken the decision to clamp the nationwide lockdown, we would have had around 1 lakh COVID-19 cases by now, as per a reasonable estimate. Now, the outbreak is under control,” said Paul, who chairs the Empowered Group-1 as part of Centre’s coronavirus response.

Paul said on March 21, before the lockdown was announced, the number of COVID-19 cases used to double every three days, which had slowed down to five days after the March 22 Janata Curfew and the subsequent mix of travel restrictions and the practice of social distancing promoted by the government.

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Paul also sought to allay apprehensions on the low number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, saying there was no spike in the pneumonia cases nor a surge in consumption of medicines – parameters that are tracked by the government regularly.

“There is no undercurrent of cases,” Paul said, noting that the claims under the Pradhan Mantri Jana Arogya Yojana, too, had not seen an uptick.

S K Singh, Director of the National Centre for Disease Control, said the government had begun surveillance for coronavirus before the first case was reported in the country.

He said more that 9.45 lakh suspected COVID-19 patients were under the surveillance network at present.