Fastest rise in a single day, 227 new COVID +ve cases in 24 hours

Last Modified Tuesday, 31 March 2020 (19:43 IST)
New Delhi:As many as 227 new COVID cases were reported in India in the past 24 hours -- the fastest rise in a single day, however, the Health Ministry on Tuesday sought to downplay this, saying it was because the number of hotspots in the country have increased.
Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal, briefing the press, speaking on the rising number of hotspots, said this was since even an area with a single case can become a 'hotspot', if the Government felt that there was possibility of a wider spread in that area.
 
"Even if there is one case, that location becomes a hotspot for us. We then begin contact tracing and isolation. Now there are  over 1,200 cases so the number of hotspots have increased," he said downplaying the spread of the disease.
 
He attributed the increase in cases to "people not declaring their positive-status on time."
 
Asked if healthy people should be wearing face masks, he responded that not everyone needed to wear a mask. "It helps in keeping people from touching your face. So wear a mask if it helps.. but you don't need to wear a mask depending on risk of exposure."
 
Referring to lack of easy availability of masks, Mr Agarwal said the government has advised the common people "do not always need to wear masks when they step out." He said the matter of using homemade masks was also being considered in a technical manner.
 
On the issue of testing kits, Mr Agarwal said if there were suppliers supplying testing kits at cheaper price of the same specification, they could get in touch with ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava.
 
Questioned about Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain saying the state government wanted JN stadium to be turned into a temporary hospital but the Centre refused, he said he was not aware of the matter.(UNI)