From Our Bureau  

3rd SEPTEMBER 2020

India witnessed a big spurt with 83,883 fresh COVID-19 positive cases reported on Thursday, the highest ever single day tally, taking the country’s cumulative cases to 38,53,406. The death toll rose to 67,376, with 1,043 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours. India has moved to third place in total number of fatalities as also positive cases among countries across the world. It ranks after the United States and Brazil, which occupy the top two slots. Incidentally, the day’s tally of cases in India was the highest across the globe.

However, on the same day, India achieved the highest single day tests of more than 11.7 lakhs. The country also registered the highest recoveries of 68,584 in a single day. This has led to a surge in the total number of recovered patients which is nearly 30 lakh (29,70,492).

With this, India’s Recovery Rate amongst the COVID-19 patients has crossed 77.09 percent. The number of recovered patients has outpaced the active cases, numbering  8,15,538, by more than 21.5 lakh.

The recovered patients have increased to more than 3.6 times the active cases, as on date. The record high recoveries have ensured that the actual caseload of the country, viz. the active cases, currently comprises only 21.16 percent of the total positive cases.

Focus on improved and effective clinical treatment in hospitals, supervised home isolation, use of non-invasive oxygen support, improved services of the ambulances for ferrying patients for prompt and timely treatment, upgradation of clinical management skills of doctors treating COVID-19 patients by active technical guidance through tele-consultation sessions of AIIMS, New Delhi, use of steroids and anti-coagulants, etc., have together resulted in seamless efficient patient management.

These measures have ensured that India’s Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is maintained below the global average 3.3 percent. Witnessing a decline every day, it stands at 1.75 percent today.

Continuing the spree of conducting more than 10 lakh tests per day from the last two days, India has witnessed an unprecedented surge in daily testing today.

Over 11.7 lakh (11,72,179) tests were done in the last 24 hours. With this achievement, the cumulative tests are more than 4.5 crore (4,55,09,380).

This demonstrates an exponential increase in the daily COVID-19 testing in the country. From conducting merely 10 tests per day on 30th January, the daily average has crossed more than 11 lakhs today.

India’s daily testing numbers are one of the highest in the world. Such high levels of testing on a sustained basis over a period of time in widespread areas enables early diagnosis, and in turn facilitates seamless isolation and effective hospitalisation. This eventually leads to lower mortality rate. Higher numbers of testing also subsequently result in lowered positivity rate. 

This surge in testing has been made possible by an equally speedy expansion in the testing lab network across the country. India has today 1,623 labs in the country–1,022 labs in the government sector and 601 private labs. These include: Real-Time RT PCR based testing labs: 823 (Govt: 465 + Private: 358), TrueNat based testing labs: 678 (Govt: 523 + Private: 155) and CBNAAT based testing labs: 122 (Govt: 34 + Private: 88).

Also, state-of-the-art high throughput machines including Cobas 6800/8800 are installed at 5 sites: ICMR-Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna; ICMR-National Institute for Cholera & Enteric Diseases, Kolkata; National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi;  ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Mumbai; and ICMR-National Institute for Cancer Prevention & Research, Noida. These can test around 1,000 samples per day with minimum human intervention.

The testing capacity was augmented gradually with RT-PCR, which is the gold standard test in the phase-1 covering large cities/urban areas, followed by Molecular assays with short turn-around-time at the district level in the second phase. In phase-3, Antigen tests are recommended in containment zones and hospital tests where no molecular tests are available. (eom)

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