New Delhi: Total number of Covid-19 cases in the country mounted to 33,610 on Thursday evening, with 1,823 cases and 67 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said here on Thursday.
Of the total cases, 24,162 are the active cases, 8,372 people have recovered, and 1,075 people have succumbed to the disease.
Maharashtra remained the worst hit state with a total number of cases rising to 9,915, followed by Gujarat which reported 4,082 cases and Delhi which has reported 3,439 cases, according to the Health Ministry data.
Maharashtra has also recorded 432 deaths, the highest number of casualties among all the states.
Other states which have jumped the 2,000 mark are Madhya Pradesh (2,660), Rajasthan (2,438), Tamil Nadu (2,162) and Uttar Pradesh (2,203).
Among other major cities, Andhra Pradesh has reported 1,403 and 31 deaths, Bihar stood at 403 cases and two deaths, Haryana at 310 and three deaths, Jammu and Kashmir at 581 cases and eight deaths, Karnataka at 557 and 21 deaths and Kerala was docked at 496 and four deaths.
States which have reported less than 10 cases are — Tripura, Mizoram, Puducherry, Manipur, Goa and Arunanchal Pradesh.
On the global front, the total number of cases have crossed three million mark and over two lakh people have died till now.
The Union Health Ministry said that it is very clear that the concept of social distancing will stay even after lockdown is lifted.
Responding to a question at a press conference, regarding extension of the ongoing lockdown, Joint Secretary, Health, Lav Agarwal said that the ministry is coordinating with the state governments where there are more cases.
Asked what was the Health Ministry’s take on extension of the lockdown, he said: “From the Health Ministry side, we are very clear that we have to ensure that the concept of physical distancing is adapted as behavioural change in our day to day life so that we can break the chain of transmission. It is equally important to focus on containment measures.”
Agarwal also said: “Although we have success but we have concerns also therefore we are coordinating with states and where more cases are reported, we are stressing on physical distancing.”
The ministry also said that the coronavirus testing capacity in the country has been scaled up — from one laboratory in the country to now a total 389 government and private laboratories in the country.
Agarwal said that the testing capacity of India has increased progressively as and when required.
“Right from having one lab, today we have at least 292 government laboratories and 97 private labs having RT-PCR testing facilities across the country. We are progressively scaling up the testing capacity. Earlier we were doing a few hundred tests per day but now we have come to the level that yesterday 58,686 tests were done,” Agarwal said.
The Joint Health Secretary also said that the average number of tests performed per day has also increased and the government is ensuring that people who require tests for COVID-19, are tested.
“If we take the data of the last five days, the average number of tests performed per day in the last five days in India stands at 49,800. It is important to understand that as and when there has been a need to increase the capacity of RT PCR tests, the country has increased its testing capacity. We have ensured that all people who need to be tested as per the protocol get tested” he said.
Meanwhile, DMK President M.K.Stalin urged the government to announce its decision on relaxing or extending the lockdown in advance rather than waiting for the last minute.
In a statement issued here, he said the second lockdown period is coming to an end on May 3 and people are anxious to know whether it would be extended/lifted or lifted gradually.
Stalin said it is the duty of the people to abide by the Central/state government’s decision to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.