New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) The Centre said on Friday that the number of Covid-19 cases and fatalities would have shot up exponentially had the government not put in place strict measures, including the nationwide lockdown, citing various statistical analysis carried out by various organisations.
Speaking at a press conference, Pravin Srivastava, Secretary at the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, said that at least 14-29 lakh cases and 37,000-76,000 deaths have been averted due to the lockdown in the country.
Elaborating on the gains of the lockdown and the graded efforts in containing the spread of coronavirus, Srivastava said, "Lockdown has been highly beneficial in our fight against Covid-19. We are confident that we are on the right track."
"As per a joint study by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation and the Indian Statistical Institute, we found that around 20 lakh cases and 54,000 deaths have been averted due to the lockdown. Another model by two independent economists shows that around 23 lakh cases and 68,000 deaths have been averted due to the lockdown," he added.
The Secretary also said that independent agency, the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), estimated that at least 78,183 deaths have been averted by imposing the lockdown.
The Boston Consulting Group, another independent agency, estimated on the basis of changes in reproduction rate that there would have been 36-70 lakh cases in the country sans lockdown till May 13.
According to another approach, the study said that more than 1-2 lakh lives have been saved due to lockdown.
"Some independent experts, including retired scientists, have calculated that around 15.9 lakh cases and 51,000 deaths have been averted due to the lockdown," said Srivastava.
He also said that currently the active cases are concentrated in a few states and cities or districts. According to the statistics based on the number of cases till now, around 80 per cent cases are confined to 5 states -- Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.
Over 95 per cent cases are in 10 states -- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Nearly 60 per cent cases are in 5 cities -- Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Pune, Delhi and Kolkata, and around 70 per cent in 10 cities -- Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, Indore, Thane, Jaipur, Chennai and Surat.
V.K. Paul, Chairman of the Empowered Group-1, a government appointed body to monitor the Covid-19 situation and preparedness, told the media, "Despite being such a large nation, due to the lockdown, the outbreak of Covid-19 has remained confined to limited areas."
India on Friday broke its own 24-hour record, adding 6,088 cases in a single day as the total number of coronavirus cases touched 1,18,447, the Union Health Ministry data said.