NEW DELHI — Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan April 24 said India has not gone into Stage 3, or community transmission stage, of the coronavirus pandemic, and has also fared better than many countries.
"Testing has been made strong in the country. Today, we have already completed 5.5 lakh tests and after increasing our testing frequency our positive cases are not rising,” said Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
"The positive cases are not rising more than 4 percent...We were all worried if we are in Stage 3, but we have been able to save the country largely from going into Stage 3," Vardhan said, adding "we have all the information connected with clusters and hotspots."
Responding to the issue of faulty testing kits, Vardhan who was interacting with state health ministers and health secretaries of all states and union territories to review the COVID-19 situation, said during the video conference: "We will return the testing kits to their country of origin, and we have not paid money yet. Faulty antibody testing kits will be returned irrespective of the country they were procured from, including China.”
Detailing the country's progress in the past 3.5 months in tackling COVID-19, Vardhan added: "On January 8, we held our first meeting, and today, in comparison with many other countries, fighting against COVID-19, India has done very well.”
"We have fewer cases per million percentage. We have a mortality of 3 per cent, which is less. Recovery rate of patients, who contracted viral infection, is better than the world. In March, the doubling rate of coronavirus cases was 3 days; today it is close to 9 days.”
"All over the country wherever the virus is active, we have the full information. And, we also know, what we have to do to tackle this virus in these areas," added Vardhan.
He insisted that the country has a very well defined strategy to deal with hot spots and also those districts which so far remain coronavirus free.
"We are in a better position to control the disease. Containment and surveillance strategies have been designed meticulously," said Vardhan. He added that lockdown has proved helpful in tackling the outbreak of the viral infection.