A total number of 29 private laboratory chains have been given approval for testing of corona virus. These private labs have 16 thousand collection centers across the country. In addition, 118 government laboratories have been given permission for testing which have a capacity to test 12 thousand samples per day. 

Giving these information in a media briefing in New Delhi yesterday, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Lav Aggarwal said, government is continuously increasing its testing infrastructure. He said, private labs must adhere to the norms laid down by the Indian Council of Medical Research. He added that hydroxy-chloroquine for prophylaxis should only be used with the advice of doctors.

On the sufficient stock of masks and PPE in the country, Mr. Agarwal said, government is aware of the situation and trying its best to ensure sufficient stock of masks and PPEs. He said, there is no evidence of community transmission of corona virus in the country.

Mr. Agarwal said, State and District authorities have been asked that e-commerce activity must be promoted to provide the essential items at the doorstep to ensure minimum movement of people. He said, a high level meeting of the Group of Ministers, GoM on COVID-19 was held yesterday to review the prepardeness and actions taken by the agencies to contain the spread of Covid 19. The GoM discussed about strengthening capacity of states, which need to devote adequate resources for creating dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, equipping the medical institutes with PPEs, ventilators and other essential equipment.

In the meeting, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that around 64 thousand persons have arrived from other countries to India since 21st March, 2020 out of which 8,000 have been put in various quarantine facilities and 56,000 are in home isolation. He said, country is fighting with an infectious disease, hence, in order to protect ourselves and others, it is important that we follow all the protocols, guidelines and directions issued by the Government.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has said that government is ensuring the supply of essential items with the help of states and union territories. Home Ministry is continuously monitoring the situation.

Meanwhile, total confirmed case of COVID-19 in the country reached 606 yesterday. Out of these, 43 have been cured and discharged so far. Tenth death was reported yesterday from Maharashtra. This is the third death in the state due to the virus outbreak. 

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