New Delhi: The decision to impose lockdown was timely and effective in controlling coronavirus spread, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday (April 24), in a statement. It said that the government has requested states to focus on districts reporting a high number of cases or having a fast case doubling rate or districts with high case mortality.
Addressing a daily briefing on coronavirus, the health ministry said India reported 1,684 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking its tally to 23,077, out of which, 17,610 are active. It added that 491 coronavirus patients were cured in the last 24 hours, taking the recovered tally to 4,748.
It observed that the doubling rate of coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 10 days while the recovery rate of patients is around 20.57 per cent. It added that there would have been 73,000 cases by now had the nation-wide lockdown restriction was not imposed by the government.
The ministry added that a robust surveillance system is closely monitoring around 9.45 lakh suspected COVID-19 cases across the country.
Addressing the briefing, the Ministry of Home Affairs said four more inter-ministerial teams have been formed by the government to monitor situation in Ahmedabad, Surat, Hyderabad and Chennai. It added that two inter-ministerial teams, that visited West Bengal, have returned and submitted their report to the government.
The COVID Empowered Group said that had the government not got active on the matter and had not put in restrictions across the country, the coronavirus cases would have shot to over 1 lakh by now. The lockdown move helped to cut the COVID-19 transmission chain, it said.
NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul said that effects of lockdown started showing results from April 4-5 and will continue to do so till the second week of May. He said country undertook a behavioural change and collectively fought against the pandemic.