Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said physical distancing is the most potent 'social vaccine' to fight against coronavirus infection. He advised citizens to strictly follow ‘do gaz ki doori’ while interacting with each other.
The total number of coronavirus cases in the country has increased to 96,169. India has witnessed the biggest spike in COVID-19 count in last 24 hours — over 5,000 cases have been registered. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 infection has surged past 3,000-mark.
The health minister on Sunday said that the doubling time of COVID-19 infection has improved to 13.6 in last three days.
On a brighter side, over 38% of total coronavirus patients have been recovered from the disease. As many as 36,824 people have been cured so far, according to ministry of health and family welfare.
India has increased its testing capacity to 1,00,000 tests per day. At least 373 government laboratories and 152 private laboratories are functional in the country, Vardhan mentioned.
The health minister suggested following simple measures like washing hands with soap frequently for at least twenty seconds or using alcohol based sanitizers are a must. Spitting in public is strictly prohibited. Wearing face masks, sanitize workplace and regularly touched surfaces like table tops can mitigate the spread of the virus, he said.
Harsh Vardhan also encouraged people to choose virtual gathering instead of public gatherings. He urged all to avoid unnecessary travel and "not to visit crowded places to limit the exposure to infection."
"This fight can only be won with complete cooperation from everyone in the country," the health minister said. He also emphasised the importance of downloading the Aarogya Setu app which helps in self-assessment and provides surveillance of COVID-19 positive cases.
To mitigate the spread of the virus, the Centre on Sunday extended the ongoing lockdown till May 31. While the government opened up red zones to economic activities, containment zones will have restrictions on all non-essential movement.
Flights and metro services continued to remain suspended till May 31. However, movement of inter and intra-state passenger vehicles and buses were allowed in the fourth phase of nationwide lockdown.