India records 773 new cases, 32 deaths: Ministry

NEWDELHI, 8th Apr: The Union health ministry said on Wednesday that 32 people have died and 773 persons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in India since Tuesday.
Joint Secretary at the health ministry Lav Agarwal said at the daily briefing that the total number of cases of coronavirus infections stand at 5,194 and the death toll at 149.
However, a PTI tally of the figures reported by various states as on Tuesday 9.45 pm showed at least 162 deaths in the country due to COVID-19.
As the number of cases of COVID-19 is rising in the country, the Centre's response and preparedness along with states is rising accordingly, Agarwal noted.
In hospitals, the focus is that infection prevention and control measures are followed so that health workers aren't infected by COVID-19, he said.
He said the Centre had told states to continue its focus on building hospitals and on surveillance and contact tracing.
He added that there is sufficient stock of hydroxychloroquine available in the country.
Agarwal said in the backdrop of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the response and preparedness of the government is intensifying.
He said the Ministry of Human Resources has launched a field-level orientation program - COVID management training module - to build capacity of the frontline workers involved in the fight against the coronavirus. This includes doctors, paramedics, nurses, ANMs, volunteers and Red Cross.
A Ministry of Home Affairs official said effective lockdown measures have been placed in areas identified as hotspots, and community leaders have been engaged to build awareness campaigns on the infection.
The Health ministry said even stadiums can be converted into facilities for treatment of the COVID-19 patients, especially for patients having mild and very mild symptoms. He said that to break the chain of transmission, action plans have been made for each district in the country.
He cited door-to-door surveys conducted in Pune to identify people having symptoms, and people with hypertension and diabetes were also included in the survey.
An Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) official said at the briefing that 1,21,271 tests for COVID-19 have been done in the country so far.
The COVID-19 death toll in India is too small to say that the number of deaths in Maharashtra is significantly high, the ICMR official said responding to a question.

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