Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, on Tuesday, May 5, said that no community spread of COVID-19 has been registered yet in India.
"India has, so far, been able to stave off community transmission of COVID-19," said Vardhan.
He also said that the doubling rate of the cases in the country has been improving and stands at over 12 days as against the three days before March 25.
The Minister expressed his hopes that the behavioural changes that coronavirus have brought would become a new normal after the virus abates.
The lockdown was first imposed on 24th March to combat the coronavirus outbreak and has been extended till May 17. Pointing out the importance of the lockdown, he said that both health and the economy is a priority.
"The government has to do a balancing act," he added.
The minister said that in the post-coronavirus future, India would be able to look back at the pandemic period as a 'blessing in disguise' if Indians imbibe hand, respiratory and environmental hygiene and practise it in their everyday lives.
"By now, we know that fighting coronavirus is no rocket science. If behavioural changes such as hand, environmental and respiratory hygiene, which are being practised more rigorously during this period, get imbibed in society, it will become the new normal," he said.
The Minister further said that the situation that has emerged due to the coronavirus outbreak should be seen as an opportunity to strengthen the medical infrastructure, production of medical equipment and protective gear under the 'Make in India' initiative.
He also said that efforts are on to increase the production of APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients), the raw materials for pharmaceuticals.
He pointed out, "We have ramped up the production of COVID-19 protective gears like PPE (personal protection equipment) and N-95 masks. Testing facilities have been scaled up significantly."
According to the Health Ministry data,10,000 cases reported in the last 10 days alone. 3,490 infections were reported on Wednesday, May 6, taking the total number of cases in the country to 52,952. With 98 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours, the total death toll has reached 1,783.
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