25 district in 15 states have not reported new COVID-19 cases in last 14 days: Health Ministry


New Delhi: As Covid-19 cases continued to surge in India, 25 districts across 15 states presented a silver lining, with not a single case reported there over the past two weeks. The most districts — 4 — are in Karnataka, the ministry of health and family welfare said on Monday. The 25 districts are in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Manipur, J&K, Mizoram, Puducherry, Punjab, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Telangana.

“There is a positive development even as cases are increasing,” joint secretary (health) Lav Agarwal said, adding this was the result of a steadfast policy of containment, testing and contact tracing. “But it still means that we follow our rigorous protocols.”

India had 9,352 cases of Covid-19 as of 5 pm on Monday, an increase of 796 cases, the ministry said. Of them, 8,048 cases were active and 979 people had been cured or discharged.

The ministry reported 35 deaths over the past 24 hours.

The Centre defended its decision not to make the list of dedicated Covid-19 hospitals public. “We don’t want to create panic. We do not want people to flood those hospitals,” said Agarwal.

The government said people who felt unwell and exhibited symptoms should call the ministry or state government helplines. “The person will be guided on where he should report. This would be done after seeing the list of isolation beds available and the healthcare facility nearest to the suspected patient,” Agarwal said.

The government declined to comment on whether India has seen the peak in cases or when that would be. “We hope the peak does not come,” said Agarwal.

“The first consignment of testing kits from China is expected to arrive on April 15,” said RR Gangakhedkar, head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research.

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