The Union Health Ministry has advised the people of the country to learn to live with the coronavirus and follow the guidelines for checking its spread.
Addressing a press conference, the Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal, said there had been a reduction in the doubling time of COVID-19 cases in the country from 12 days, till two days ago, to 10 now because of the spike in cases at some places, even as he asserted that the peak of the disease could be avoided if the prescribed do’s and don’ts were followed.
“As we talk of relaxations to the lockdown and of migrant workers returning back to their respective homes, there is a big challenge in front of us that we also have to learn to live with the virus,” he said.
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“And when we are talking about learning to live with the virus, then it is very important that the guidelines that are there on saving oneself from the virus are adopted in the community as a behavioural change,” Agarwal said.
It was a big challenge and the government needed community support for it, he said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also recently said people would have to be ready to live with COVID-19 and that time had come to re-open the city, as the government announced certain relaxations.
Giving district-wise situation of COVID-19 cases, Agarwal said there were 216 districts in which no COVID-19 case had been reported to date.
As many as 42 districts had had no fresh cases in the last 28 days while 29 districts had reported no new cases of COVID-19 in the last 21 days, he said. Also, 36 districts had not registered any fresh cases in the last 14 days and 46 districts had had no fresh cases in the last seven days, he added.
When asked about AIIMS (Delhi) director Dr Randeep Guleria’s remarks citing modelling data that the peak of the disease in India might be reached in June or July, Agarwal said, “If we follow the prescribed do’s and don’ts, we may not reach the peak in the number of COVID-19 cases and our curve may remain flat.”
If the precautions were not taken and guidelines not followed properly, there could be chances of a spike in cases, he warned, stressing that community support and field action should continue so that the country did not reach the peak.
Responding to a question on how many cases India may witness if the peak comes in June- July, the official said different organisations had projected a figure of some thousands to some crores based on their analysis.