Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, during a G20 nations' video conference of health ministers, said the cornerstone of India's fight against the coronavirus pandemic had been a pre-preemptive and proactive approach, making it a 'people's movement' rather than a government exercise. The meeting was organised by Saudi Arabia.
During the meeting, Vardhan said India had completed 25 days of the lockdown, which had been extended till May 3. He added the lockdown's positives results were evident.
"The results of the same were realised when our case doubling rate, which was about 3.4 days on March 17, dropped to 4.4 days by March 25, and is currently about 7.4 days," Vardhan said at the G20 conference.
Vardhan emphasised that India had adopted pre-emptive and proactive approach in the fight against the coronavirus. "Our efforts have been preemptive and proactive. We started surveillance of flights from COVID-affected countries twelve days before we even had the first case in India on the 30th of Jan 2020," Vardhan said.
By March 22, India had less than 400 cases when it banned all international flights to and from India, and by March 25, the government had implemented a nationwide lockdown.
Vardhan said that a part of India's strategy to contain COVID-19 pandemic includes building exclusive infrastructure for management of coronavirus patients to avoid intermingling. Vardhan also mentioned how India had set-up three types of dedicated COVID-19 management centres in the country.
He also spoke about the traditional doctrine of 'Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam" (World is One Family) and how India was helping other countries during these difficult times, assuming a leadership role.
India reported 36 more COVID-19 deaths in past 24 hours, taking the toll to 543. The total number of confirmed cases has crossed 17,000. According to latest data by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, there are 17,265 confirmed coronavirus cases in India, including 14,175 active and 2,546 cured or discharged.