The graph shown by at the Health Ministry’s COVID-19 briefing
New Delhi: With novel coronavirus cases in India crossing the 21,000 mark on Thursday, a senior government official today suggested that India’s story in containing the COVID-19 spread has been that of success.
Speaking at the Health Ministry briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic, CK Mishra, Environment Secretary and Chairman of Empowered Group-2, said that during the nearly one-month lockdown that India has enforced, “we have been able to cut transmission, minimize spread and increase the doubling time of COVID-19”.
India has also been able to “consistently ramp up our testing and utilise our time to prepare for the future,” the official told the news briefing.
Explaining the growth of the coronavirus in India, Mishra – referring to a graph – said: “Right at the bottom, the yellow line is India’s story.” He added: “Growth has been more or less linear, not exponential.”
Explaining the graph, the Environment Secretary said the chart shows the trajectory which major countries like India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy and South Korea have witnessed with regard to the growth in COVID-19 cases ever since recording their 400th confirmed infection.
“We have deliberately taken 400th case on 23rd March (as benchmark). It shows what the position was when each of these countries had 400th case and how they have moved beyond,” Mishra told reporters.
The graph clearly shows that over the same period since recording their 400th case, the US, the UK and Italy recorded exponential growth in COVID-19 cases. In comparison, India and South Korea have been on the same trajectory and at the bottom of the curve.
“India has done better than majority of developed countries, with respect to the percentage of test cases yielding positive results. We need to evolve our strategy based on the current position as seen here. The facts show that our testing strategy has been focused, targeted and continues to expand; this is an evolving strategy based on our learnings as we go along. As the challenge kept expanding, strategy too kept expanding,” the Environment Secretary further said at the briefing.
Meanwhile, as of Thursday evening, the number of novel coronavirus cases in India stands at 21,700 with 16,689 active cases and 686 deaths.