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Why in news?

India has managed to maintain a linear growth of COVID-19 cases over the one-month period during its lockdown, the Union Health Ministry said on 23rd April 2020 even as the country reported over 1,409 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of cases to 21,700 with 16,689 active ones.

There are 12 districts that did not have a fresh case in the last 28 days or more.

Is the curve really flattening?

  • Despite a 24-fold increase in testing, the percentage of positive cases is not rising phenomenally when compared to the percentage of positive cases at the beginning of the lockdown.
  • One crucial weapon we employed during the 30-day lockdown period is RT-PCR testing which has been scaled up.
  • The growth of cases has been more or less linear, not exponential; this indicates that the strategies we have adopted have succeeded in containing the infection to a particular level.

During the 30 days of lockdown, India has been able to cut transmission, minimise spread and increase the doubling time of COVID-19.

Way Forward

  • We need to evolve our future strategy based on the current position. The current report shows that our testing strategy has been focused, targeted and continues to expand, this is an evolving strategy based on our learning as we go along.
  • Centre has been working with States to ensure required reagents are supplied to testing labs in timely and calibrated fashion, enabling diversion of reagents to hot spots as needed.
  • Due to the stigma we have attached to COVID-19, patients are not coming forward or they are coming very late when they have severe breathlessness issues, thereby increasing morbidity and mortality. Our goal is to ensure that most people get cured at COVID Health Centre stage itself. There is hope as far as treatment is concerned. In this disease almost 80 % cases recover with supportive therapy, 15 % need oxygen support while only 5 % need ventilator support.
  • Convalescent plasma, HCQ and other repurposed drugs, and newer drugs are being looked at for treatment in COVID-19 cases.
December 2023