“On the situation of COVID-19 in India and the Government’s response, Ambassador of India to Azerbaijan B. Vanlalvawna said that a 21 days country-wide lockdown has been imposed in India since March 25, 2020. As on date, there has been 9125 cases of infection and 308 deaths. 857 persons have recovered from the disease,” Embassy told APA.
The Ambassador said that the call by the government for a lockdown has received an unprecedented and voluntary nationwide response. The lockdown which was aimed at breaking transmission through social distancing has significantly contributed to the slow progression of infections in the country. Prior to the lockdown, the country introduced surveillance at all entry points on 17 January 2020. Visa and travel restrictions have been imposed since 5 February 2020 followed by visa and flight suspension on 11 March and 19 March respectively. During this time, over 620000 passengers were monitored and it was ensured that not one positive case in this group mix with the general population.
On medical preparedness, Ambassador said that over 500 hospitals across the country with over 82,000 beds, 8,182 ICU beds and close to 5000 ventilators dedicated for COVID-19 patients have been made ready and an additional 5110 hospitals with over 110,000 beds, 27000 ICU beds and 12,867 ventilators are also made available. For isolation purposes, over 2500 rails coaches with 40,000 isolation beds have also been made available. The Government has also placed orders for 17 million PPEs, 21 million N95 masks and 49000 ventilators . Across the country 223 laboratories have been identified to test the virus and to supplement this, Rapid Antibody test has also been initiated.
Regarding mitigation measures, the Ambassador said that Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Package with a financial outlay of US $ 22 billion has been launched to help the poor and farmers during this crisis. A special fund of US $ 2 billion for the health sector and an insurance scheme to cover 2.2 million health workers have been made available.
The Ambassador said that India has been an active participant in the global response to the pandemic. It has created a COVID-19 cell under the Ministry of External Affairs and has coordinated inward and outward evacuations on a massive scale. India has also provided medical assistance to friendly countries including the supply of pharmaceuticals and is fully committed to acting responsibly during the crisis.
Calling the pandemic response led by Prime Minister of India historical, the Ambassador said that the complexity of India’s response which were led with the country’s technological and administrative methods are supplemented by the collective consciousness of the people of India and its ancient philosophy. India’s response has also been conducted in a democratic setting where the Parliament has debated the crisis extensively while at the same time the actions of the government have been communicated through regular press conferences.