NEW DELHI, April 12 - As many as 909 COVID-19 cases and 34 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of such cases to 8,356 and the death toll to 273 in the country, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday, while asserting that the government is �extra prepared� if there is an exponential rise in the number of coronavirus patients.
Addressing a press briefing, Joint Secretary in the ministry Lav Agarwal said the government is expanding the COVID-19 testing capacity in state-run as well as private medical colleges.
�The total number of COVID-19 cases has risen to 8,356 and the death toll to 273. A total of 909 new cases and 34 deaths have been reported since Saturday. The good news is that 765 people have recovered and have been discharged so far. Seventy-four people have been cured since Saturday. The government is extra prepared if the number of cases rises exponentially,� he said.
Agarwal said the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases in China, Japan and Korea is a cause of concern and emphasised on the importance of social distancing, terming it the �social vaccine� against the dreaded virus.
�The recent resurgence of positive COVID-19 cases in China, Japan and Korea is a cause of concern for us too. We should, therefore, ensure that we continue to follow our containment and social-distancing measures as we have been doing so far,� he said.
Briefing about the preparatory measures taken by the government, Agarwal said the focus is on increasing the capacity of the primary medical infrastructure, which includes dedicated hospitals, isolation beds, ICU beds and quarantine facilities.
�As of Sunday, while the requirement of beds for 8,356 cases is estimated to be 1,671 for 20 per cent of the confirmed cases with moderate to severe or critical clinical symptoms, the present availability of beds is 1,05,980 in 601 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals across the country. The number of isolation beds in these hospitals is being further augmented,� he added. � PTI