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Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Stock of HCQ available for domestic use is way more than the requirement for one month, additional supply of 2 - 3 crore tablets also tied up: Health Ministry

39 PPE manufacturers available in the country, 20 lakh additional N-95 Masks provided to the states, additional quantity being procured: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare

Domestic requirement will be the priority of the Government, while taking decisions on export of HCQ: Ministry of External Affairs

Nation has not yet entered the stage of "community transmission" of COVID-19: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare

Posted On: 10 APR 2020 6:39PM by PIB Mumbai

New Delhi / Mumbai, April 10, 2020

The number of COVID-19 positive cases in the nation stands at 6,412 as on date. A total of 503 people have recovered and have been discharged. A total of 199 people in the country have died because of the COVID-2019 infection. In the last 24 hours, 678 new cases and 33 deaths have been reported. This was informed by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Shri Luv Aggarwal, at the daily media briefing on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on COVID-19, held at National Media Centre, PIB New Delhi today.

Briefing about the availability of PPE, the Joint Secretary informed that 39 PPE manufacturers are available in the country today. PPE has been procured and given to states, due to which they have double the PPE stock available with them today, relative to what they had two months back. About N-95 masks, he informed that 9 lakh N95 Masks were available with the states two months back; 20 lakh additional masks have been provided to the states and additional quantity is being procured. Due to this, there will not be any shortage of N95 Masks at the field level, he assured. Order has been placed for around 49,000 ventilators, the supply will start coming soon, he added.

A representative of the Ministry of External Affairs informed:

  • 20,473 foreign nationals have been successfully evacuated from India till yesterday. It is an ongoing effort, where all Government departments and State Governments are working in coordination.

  • Given the ongoing lockdown, no definite answer can be provided with regard to return of Indians abroad. It requires an assessment of the situation and decision can be taken only at a later stage. However, Indian Ambassadors and High Commissions are in constant touch with Indians abroad; they are being guided and are being given all support. MEA Helplines also are active, calls are being answered and guidance is being given.

As regards export of hydroxychloroquin (HCQ), he assured the nation that domestic requirement will be the priority of the Government, while taking decisions on export of HCQ. He said that the Group of Ministers decided to release some surplus stock for export, after considering the availability of domestic stock and the country’s requirement. He explained that certain medicines were in restricted list and others in prohibited list. Based on review by Committee of Secretaries and later by Group of Ministers, restrictions were lifted on many medicines, given domestic priorities. He informed that HCQ is in high demand globally and that many countries have requested for it. While exports to the first list of countries have been approved, the Government is working on second and third lists now.

About stock of HCQ in the country, Shri Aggarwal updated that based on the country’s projected requirement, we need 1 crore tablets of hydroxychloroquin for the coming one week, while the country has 3.28 crore tablets today. The current supply is hence three times more than the domestic requirement for the coming week and is way more than the demand for the coming month as well. Additional supply of 2 - 3 crore tablets has also been tied up.

The Joint Secretary also informed that:

Replying to a media query, the Joint Secretary reassured that the nation has not yet entered the stage of "community transmission" of COVID-19. He reiterated that what is important is how well we are able to collectively adopt required precautionary and containment steps.

The Joint Secretary reiterated that India’s frontline health workers are our biggest strength in the fight against COVID19 and that even one incident against them can hurt their morale and strength. Stating this, he appealed that none should commit any act by which morale of the frontline workers may come down. Speaking on the need to combat stigma associated with COVID-19, Shri Aggarwal also requested all to come forward and inform authorities if anyone observes symptoms, so that testing and treatment can be done. 

Informing that enforcement of lockdown is happening in the entire country, the representative of the Home Affairs Ministry stated:

The ICMR representative informed that the COVID-19 testing strategy has been expanded to include all symptomatic cases in hot spot areas as well. There are 213 laboratories, including 146 labs in public sector and 67 labs in private sector. As per the update at 9 PM on April 9, 2020, 1,44,910 samples from 1,30,792 suspected patients were tested. 5,705 of these tests turned out to be positive. 16,002 samples were tested yesterday, which marks a substantial increase in the number of tests done relative to the last few days.

The Principal Director General of Press Information Bureau, Shri K. S. Dhatwalia informed:

LIVE tweets by @PIB_India from the media briefing can be found on this thread.

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DJM/SC

 



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