Numbers can be exponential in pandemic, Govt well-prepared: Health Ministry

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New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Sunday said that as the country is dealing with an infectious pandemic, the number of the cases may be exponential but the government is adequately prepared for management of coronavirus cases.

Addressing the daily press briefing, Joint Secretary, Health, Lav Agarwal said: “This is a pandemic and numbers can be exponential. Our effort is to take advanced steps.”
“A total of 8,356 positive cases have been reported in the country. At least 909 new cases and 34 deaths have been recorded in 24 hours. A good news is that 74 people have been cured in the last 24 hours taking the total number of cured people to 716. Total 273 deaths have been reported so far.”
About the preparations, Agarwal said: “On March 29, we had 979 positive cases and 20 per cent of these cases (196) needed critical care and oxygen. That time, 41,900 dedicated Covid beds were available in 163 state-run hospitals. On April 4, when we required 580 beds, we had 67,500 beds, on April 9, 1,100 beds were required but there were 8,5000 beds available in the country.
“The total number of the cases has increased and we have 8,356 positive cases, of these 20 per cent cases need ICU support, that means today 1,671 patients need oxygen support and critical care treatment and we have 1,05,000 dedicated Covid beds available in the country in 601 hospitals. This figure is important to show that the government is planning things in advance and is over prepared.”
In addition, “we are also increasing the number of dedicated Covid hospitals and isolation facilities as per the evolving situations and precautionary measures because this is a pandemic and number can be exponential. Our effort is to take advanced steps.”
Agarwal also said: “In AIIMS Delhi, there are 250 beds including 50 ICU beds. There are high dependent units attached with few beds and there are 70 ventilators. In Safdarjang (Hospital), one complete block has been converted into Covid block and has 500 beds. We have provided 1,680 beds to Andhra Pradesh. As on today there were 148 ventilators available, we provided 444 additional ventilators. One special medical officer is appointed in every state.”
He also added that 9,000 beds were identified by the army and 7,000 beds are available in military hospitals. Waterproof tents are also available in far flung areas and two patients can be kept in one tent, he said.