The minister visited All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Trauma Centre to take stock of the preparedness to overcome COVID-19, a statement from the ministry said.
On April 15, the health ministry declared 170 districts as COVID-19 hotspots and 207 districts as non-hotspots.
Hotspots are those districts which are reporting more number of cases or where the rate of growth of COVID-19 cases is high, the ministry said, adding that a detailed direction has been issued to states stating consolidated efforts are required to utilise this period of lockdown to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
The districts that have not reported any cases yet have also been directed to work on cluster containment plans, the ministry said.
Since then there have been no updates on the number of hotspots from the health ministry.
On Sunday, during his visit, the health minister spoke to some COVID-19 positive patients through video calling and enquired about their health. Robots handled the technology at the patients’ end, it said.
Vardhan also sought their feedback about the facilities available at AIIMS so that necessary improvements can be made, the statement said.
Through a graded, preemptive and proactive approach, the government of India is taking several steps along with the states/union territories for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19. These are being regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, the ministry said.
After a detailed review, Vardhan appreciated AIIMS for ensuring 24X7 monitoring of COVID-19 confirmed and suspected patients using digital platforms, video and voice call technologies.
He also urged people to observe the lockdown in letter and spirit and to treat it as an effective intervention to cut down the spread of COVID-19.
“The situation is improving in India as hotspot districts (HSD) are moving towards being non-hotspot districts (NHSD),” the minister said.
Meanwhile, the cabinet secretary had a detailed video conferencing with chief secretaries and director generals of police (DGP) of states and union territories to review the preparedness for COVID-19 response.
Vardhan asserted that states with high viral load should focus on effective implementation of the lockdown measures and containment strategy.
They also need to focus on medical infrastructure like adequate availability of isolation beds, ICU beds and ventilators, he said.
As of now, 5,913 people have been cured of coronavirus with a recovery rate of 21.90 per cent in the country, the ministry said.
A total of 26,917 people have been confirmed positive for COVID-19, it said, adding that 826 deaths have been reported in India. ASG KJ