From Our Bureau  

24th AUGUST 2020

India witnessed a big surge with 61,408 fresh COVID-19 positive cases reported on Sunday, taking the country’s cumulative tally to 31,06,348. The death toll rose to 57,542, with 836 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.

With more patients recovering and being discharged from hospitals and home isolation (in case of mild and moderate cases), India’s COVID-19 total recoveries have crossed 23 lakh today.

Recovery of 23,38,035 patients has been made possible because of effective implementation of the policy of TESTING aggressively, TRACKING comprehensively through surveillance and contact tracing and TREATING efficiently. Focus on Standard of Care protocol, including use of non-invasive oxygen, better skilled doctors in the ICUs and hospitals and improved ambulance services, has led to improved recovery rate among the severe and critical COVID patients. Those in home isolation, being medically supervised and monitored, are also recovering at a fast pace.

With the recovery of 57,469 cases in the last 24 hours, India’s Recovery Rate amongst the COVID-19 patients has crossed 75.27 percent, reflecting that the number of patients recovering is on a steady rise over the past several months.

India has posted more than 16 lakh (16,27,264) recoveries than the active cases (7,10,771),which are under active medical care. The record high recoveries have ensured that the actual caseload of the country, viz. the active cases, has reduced and currently comprises only 22.88 percent of the total positive cases. Effective clinical management of the patients in the ICUs has been instrumental in keeping the Case Fatality Rate low and on a steady downward trajectory. It has further dipped to 1.85 percent today.

A major role in India’s substantial rate of recovery and declining case fertility rate has been played by the ‘National e-ICU on COVID-19 Management’ exercise being conducted by AIIMS New Delhi in active collaboration with Ministry of Health.

The National e-ICU is held twice a week- on Tuesday and Friday, and covers ICU doctors of COVID hospitals in States and answers their queries related to COVID treatment. So far, 14 such National e-ICUs have been held covering 117 hospitals of 22 States across the country.

On a steady march, India conducts a total of nearly 3.6 crore tests

A key component in India’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been early identification of the positive cases by timely and aggressive TESTING. Prompt identification and isolation synced with efficient treatment have led to the rising number of recoveries and low and declining mortality due to COVID-19.

India has tested 3,59,02,137 persons so far. With 6,09,917 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, India is on its resolved drive to increase its testing capacity.

Easy access to testing through expanded diagnostic lab network across the country has given a substantial boost to the present numbers. As a result of these focussed actions, the Tests Per Million (TPM) Population have seen a sharp increase to 26,016. The TPM continues to maintain the constant upward trend.

India has also seen a rise in the tests per million per day, as advised by WHO in its Guidance Note on “Public Health Criteria to Adjust Public Health and Social Measures in the Context of COVID-19.” WHO has advised that a country needs 140 tests/day/ million population as a measure for comprehensive surveillance for suspected COVID19 cases.

A prominent determinant of the evolving testing strategy is the steadily widening diagnostic lab network in the country. This has significantly grown to 1,520 labs today, including 984 labs in the government sector and 536 private labs. These include: Real-Time RT PCR based testing labs: 785 (Govt: 459 + Private: 326), TrueNat based testing labs: 617 (Govt: 491 + Private: 126) and CBNAAT based testing labs: 118 (Govt: 34 + Private: 84). (eom)

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