India currently has nearly 9.5 lakh people under surveillance as it aims to break the chain of transmission of COVID-19. The number of people under surveillance has risen multi-fold from January when just 13 people were under surveillance.
The protocol is to keep those people under surveillance who are suspected of having come in contact with a coronavirus infected person or have travel history to an international country. The surveillance is done either via keeping the suspected cases in quarantine or via community surveillance.
As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 13 people were under surveillance as of January 23. This number increased to 1,088 on Jan 30 when India reported its first novel coronavirus case. The patient’s travel history was traced to Wuhan, the epicentre of COVID-19.
At the end of February 2020 there were 23,832 people who were suspected of being infected with coronavirus and were under surveillance.
Just ahead of the nationwide lockdown announcement, there were 90,459 people under surveillance as of March 19, 2020. This figure increased almost 3X to 2,67,921 after commencement of lockdown on March 26. Since then, the number has increased 3.5 times to 945,915 as of April 23.
On April 24 at 5 pm, India had reported a total of 23,452 cases of COVID-19, out of which 4,813 patients were discharged, taking the recovery rate to 20.5 percent.
Overall, the rate of doubling of cases slowed to 8.6 days between April 14 and 20 as compared to 5.2 days between March 24 and 30, indicating a reduction in the rate of growth of positive cases in the country.
However, the situation in Chennai, Surat, Hyderabad and Ahemdabad has become concerning, forcing the Centre to send four teams to these cities.
The central teams that were sent to Indore and Mumbai have reported that Indore's situation is critical as it has 20 zones which need more attention and there is a need to set up more portable toilets at various points in Mumbai’s Dharavi. The central team has also advised to use institutional quarantine for 2,000-3,000 people in Asia’s largest slum and has advised more testing and surveillance via local volunteers.
A total of 80 districts from 23 states and UTs have not reported any new cases since the last 14 days and among these, there are 15 such districts which have not reported any case over the last 28 days. The latest additions to this list of districts are Durg and Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh; and Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh.
First Published: IST