India has reported 92 fresh cases of the novel coronavirus and four deaths in the last 24 hours, taking total cases to 1071 and the number of deaths to 29, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday. In his daily press briefing in New Delhi, the ministry's joint secretary Lav Aggarwal asked people to continue to adhere to strict social distancing norms and report themselves should they suspect of COVID-19 like symptoms.
"In this fight, identification is crucial. Anyone who is suspicious of their health need not fear and come forward. They can contact authorities with the helpline number or report to the hospital. This is to prevent the case from turning critical due to late detection," the joint secretary said.
Aggarwal claimed that as per their analysis, the rate in the rise of new positive cases in a "developing country" like India is slower than that of other "developed countries" due to "public cooperation and (the government's) pre-emptive actions". The underlying reference was clearly to Western countries like the United States, Spain and Italy which have become the new hotspots of the coronavirus pandemic and who's health system has been overwhelmed.
To improve hospital preparedness and capacity building, training will be given on-field and through online courses with the help of AIIMS, New Delhi and National Institute of Mental Health, the official said. He added that the Skill Development Ministry has planned to set up quarantine centres within their institutes to assist containment efforts.
"Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region has given its nod to run exclusive cargo flights to supply medical equipment & emergency goods in the Northeast region of the country," Aggarwal said. The move comes amid concern over the supply of medical gear and other goods in the far-flung states during the ongoing three-week nationwide lockdown.