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Centre Issues 3 Months Advance Medicines To Chronic Cases; ICMR Rules Out Random Testing

Briefing the nation on the current rate of increase of the Coronavirus, Joint Health secretary, Lav Agarwal, on Saturday, stated that 149 new cases were seen


Briefing the nation on the current rate of increase of the pandemic Coronavirus, Joint Health secretary, Lav Agarwal, on Saturday, stated that 149 new cases and 2 deaths were witnessed in the past 24 hours - with the total number of cases at 873. He also announced that chronic patients under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) will be given 3 months of medicines in advance. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has ruled out random testing as India's focus is now at identify areas with most cases and isolate.

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Highlights of Health Ministry briefing on Coronavirus

  • 873 confirmed cases till now
  • 149 new cases and 2 additional deaths reported in 24 hours
  • Focus on contact tracing and treatment along with setting up dedicated COVID hospitals
  • Lock down and social distancing should be followed
  • Required action taken on transport of testing samples
  • Nodal officers appointed by states
  • Health ministry issued guidelines that CGHS chronic patients should be given medicines for 3 months at one go

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ICMR: 'No need for random testing'

When asked about the migrant labourers stranded amid the lockdown, he added," States and UTs have talked about the issue of migrant workers.  The Home Minister has asked states to release the state disaster relief fund."

Ruling out the need for random testing, ICMR's Dr. Raman R Gangakhedkar said, "Major focus is that states should identify areas for COVID-19.  We are talking with states. Isolation blocks are being identified. Random sampling not required now. All cases of all syndromes which have given indications, have been sent for testing."

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He added, "111 govt testing sites of govt is on. Numbers are going up for sure. With the total 12,000 testing capability, we are using 30% of our testing capacity; 70% capacity not used yet. 44 private labs have been approved." Assuring of sufficient testing capabilities, he said, "We have received probes from America so that an additional 5 lakh people can be tested. Currently, we have re-agents for testing 1 lakh people in the labs. We need not fear insufficient capacity of testing."

Health officials also expressed that as India has been preventive in its approach, implementing lockdown when we had limited cases of local transmission, they will get results. Dr. Gangakhadekar added," We took the right steps at the right time. We will get results". He also urged people to not hide their exposure history.

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