NEW DELHI, April 25: Allaying fears over unchecked spread of the COVID-19, the Centre has said there is no spike in fever and pneumonia cases, no flooding of ICUs with patients and that other data-sets indicate there is nothing to suggest a large-scale spread of viral infection in the country.
VK Paul, Chairman of Empowered Group 1, said: "The utilization of PM Jan Arogya Package (PM-JAY) indicates, as also other data-sets say, there is nothing of this sort. Our routine surveillance of pneumonia and high fever shows that there is no spike as such. Nobody has heard about ICUs being flooded with patients and long queues being formed outside hospitals. A study was done on drug utilization whether the consumption of medicines, in connection with fever and cough, has increased but even this did not happen."
The response came on a query on the testing capacity of the country, where over 5 lakh tests have already been done for COVID-19. He said after a the testing was scaled up, "we have not seen an increase in the proportion of positive cases".
Dr Paul said the picture the government has presented is the real picture of COVID-19 in the country largely, and there is no undercurrent to conclude that the viral infection is unchecked and that it has spread. "There is nothing of this sort in the country," he said.
Dr Paul said only a minor refinement could be made in the picture that "we have projected". "The disease is under control and it is limited, and the effort by the government, including the major decision of lockdown, has helped effectively to bring the outbreak under control. We are ready to move on to the next stage in our fight against COVID-19," said Dr Paul.
Reacting to the testing strategy, Dr Paul said: "We have had a nuanced approach for testing in our country, the testing strategy has evolved in accordance with the changing situation. If the situation demands, we will modify and recalibrate our testing strategy. We have enough testing as per the existing situation. We have already put in all efforts to increase our testing capacity." - IANS