THE Government said on Friday that the nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a timely step, without which there would have been an estimated one lakh COVID-19 cases in India by now.
However, the number of cases saw a record jump of 1,752 to go up to 23,452 cases on Friday and the death toll due to the novel coronavirus rose to 723 with 37 fatalities reported since Thursday evening, according to the Union Health Ministry.
The previous highest single day increase was on April 20 when 1,540 cases were reported.
The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 17,915 as 4,813 people were cured and discharged, and one patient migrated, the ministry said.
Thus, about 20.52 per cent of the cases have recovered so far, an official of the ministry said.
In a press briefing, officials said the virus outbreak is under control in the country and credited a robust surveillance network along with implementation of the lockdown and other containment measures for it.
Of the 11 empowered groups formed to suggest measures to ramp up healthcare, put the economy back on track and reduce misery of people once the lockdown is lifted, chairman of Empowered Group One and Niti Ayog member V K Paul said. According to their analysis, lockdown has been effective in slowing the rate at which COVID-19 cases is doubling in India, and it now stands at 10 days.
“The curve has begun to flatten. Had we not taken the decision of clamping the nationwide lockdown, we would have had around 1 lakh COVID-19 cases by now, as per a reasonable estimate. Now, the outbreak is under control,” the Empowered Group One chairman said.
Officials, however, said these projections are based on the growth pattern at a particular time.
Director of National Centre for Disease Control S K Singh that surveillance has been the country’s primary weapon in the fight against novel coronavirus.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that 23,502 samples have been confirmed positive as on April 24 at 9 am.
The Health Ministry’s figure of 23,452 cases include 77 foreign nationals.
A total of 37 deaths were reported since Thursday evening of which 14 fatalities were reported from Maharashtra, nine from Gujarat, three from Uttar Pradesh, two each from Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telengana and one from Karnataka, the ministry’s data stated.