The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday asserted that research is rapidly going in India on the vaccine for the deadly coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and the government is moving in the right direction. Addressing the daily press conference to provide updates on the COVID-19 situation in the country, Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said that a total of 227 positive cases have been reported in the last 24 hours. India till now has tested positive for 1,251 cases including deaths of 32 people.
The Health Ministry said that it is implementing rigorous contact tracing and cluster containment strategies. He further said wherever even a single case of COVID-19 is reported it is as good as a hotspot for the government. "With over 1,200 cases of COVID-19, the number of hotspots in the country has increased. The government is using cluster containment strategies and doing rigorous contact tracing in these hotspots to check the virus from further spreading," Agarwal said.
Underlying that the government will further increase the availability of protective gear for medical professionals, he said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has identified suppliers in South Korea, Turkey and Vietnam to improve logistics in the country during the COVID-19 crisis.
Seeking cooperation from the public to fight the pandemic, Agarwal said there was no need to panic. The Ministry of Health yet again clarified that not all people need to wear masks. "If you have a cough, then only you can wear masks. But the most important thing is to keep social distancing at all costs," said Aggarwal.
For the past few days, the highest number of deaths due to coronavirus infection have come from Gujarat, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh but the government is taking strong steps to deal with the situation. Agarwal added that the cases of coronavirus have also increased rapidly in the last few days because people are not giving timely information.
On the other hand, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Punya Salila Srivastava said that shelter has been provided to 66,600 people and food has been provided to 23 lakh people, adding that the issue of migrant labourers is under control.
The people have been asked to follow the lockdown seriously and only then will there be a complete coronavirus-free situation.
Speaking at the same conference, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said so far 42,788 samples have been tested for coronavirus. The ICMR is working with the Department of Bio-Technology and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on the agenda of developing a vaccine for the COVID-19 disease, an ICMR official said.