New Delhi [India], May 3 (ANI): Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan visited the city's Lady Hardinge Hospital on Sunday to review facilities in COVID-19 ward and also spoke to the coronavirus patients through video calling and inquired about their health.
"I talked to some of the patients through video calling. I was pained to know that 18 health care workers -- 7 doctors, 7 nurses and 4 paramedics too have been affected. However, the facilities here are satisfactory. I also saw the emergency ward where the COVID-19 patients are received," Dr Vardhan told ANI here.
He expressed happiness over the fact that the healthcare workers were in high spirits and thanked the Armed forces for the floral salutes given to doctors and other frontline COVID-19 warriors today.
"Today, the Indian Air Force has paid floral salutes to the corona warriors from the sky. I want to thank the Air Force for this," he said.
Speaking about the status of the country's fight against COVID-19, he said: "Our condition is improving day by day in the fight against corona. More than 10 thousand of our COVID-19 patients have gone back to their homes after getting cured. The rest are also on the road to recovery."
"Our doubling rate, which was 10.5 days in the last 14 days, has also increased to 11.7 days in the last seven days. It has come close to 12 days this morning. Our mortality rate is also the lowest in the world at 3.2 per cent," he added.
Speaking about the facilities for COVID-19 testing in the country, Dr Vardhan said that we have crossed the 10-lakh test mark and performed around 74,000 tests in a single day, which is a major achievement. Today, 310 government and 111 private testing labs have been developed.
The Union Health Minister also said that the production of PPE kits and N-95 masks is going on at a significant speed in the country.
"We had to import PPE kits and N-95 masks. Yesterday, we received more than 2 lakh PPE kits in a day. We have distributed over 50 lakh N-95 masks and over 20 lakh PPE kits in the country," said Dr Vardhan.
Speaking about the effect of the disease in the country, he said: "Today there are 319 districts in the country, which are completely unaffected by the disease. 130 districts are those which are hotspot districts while 284 districts are non-hotspot districts."
"We have divided the country into three zones. Red zone, orange zone and green zone. Separate guidelines have been made for different zones," he said.
The Union Health Minister also lauded the Centre's decision to allow the migrant workers to return to their native places during the lockdown.
Dr NN Mathur, Director, Lady Hardinge Hospital and officials of the Union Health Ministry were also present during the course of his visit.
"We shared the details of our preparation and statistics of the COVID-19 patients at the hospital with Union Health Minister Dr Vardhan. He even talked to the patients and healthcare workers here who have tested positive for the virus," said Dr Mathur.
"Currently, there are 29 COVID-19 patients with us. One among them is on the ventilator. Five are in ICU. Four others are on oxygen, but the condition of all of them is stable. We have so far recorded two deaths due to the disease -- one infant and one adult," he said. (ANI)