From Our Bureau

28TH JULY 2020

India witnessed a big surge with 47,703 fresh COVID-19 positive cases reported on Tuesday, taking the country’s cumulative tally to 14,83,156. The death toll rose to 33,425, with 654 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.

India’s Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is progressively falling and currently, it is 2.25 percent. India continues its march as a country with one of the lowest fatality rates in the world.

This achievement is a result of effective implementation of containment strategy combined with house-to-house surveys, aggressive testing and standardized clinical management protocols based on holistic Standard of Care approach which ensured that hospitals were left unburdened with supervised home isolation for the asymptomatic patients.

Under the guidance of Central government, State/Union Territory governments have focused on reducing the fatalities by effectively managing the severe cases and prioritising care of the high-risk population using field health care workers leading to decrease in the CFR across the country. The CFR has reduced from around 3.33 percent in mid-June to 2.25 percent today.

The ramped up three-tier hospital infrastructure along with prompt and seamless patient management has helped consistent increase in the recoveries. For the fifth day in a row, India has seen more than 30,000 recoveries per day.

The focused efforts of Central government and State/UT governments on early detection and isolation along with handholding of States/UTs by the expert teams of AIIMS, New Delhi for efficient clinical management of hospitalized cases and periodic visits of central teams, have borne results with continuously improving Recovery Rate.

The Recovery Rate has seen a sharp increase from around 53 percent in mid-June to more than 64 percent as on today. With 35,175 patients discharged in the last 24 hours, the total recoveries stand at 9,52,743.

With improving daily recovery number, the gap between the recovered cases and the active cases is also persistently increasing. Presently, it is 4,55,755. The actual active case load is presently 4,96,988 and all are under medical supervision.

The Central government has advised all State/Union Territory governments to keep up with and effectively implement the strategy of “Test, Track and Treat.” For the first time, a record number of 5,28,082 tests have been conducted in a single day. The cumulative number of tests reached 1,73,34,885.

PM launches High Throughput COVID testing facilities at Kolkata, Mumbai and Noida

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched three high throughput COVID-19 testing facilities via video conferencing today. These facilities are located at the National Institutes of Indian Council of Medical Research at Kolkata, Mumbai and Noida.

The Prime Minister said that these hi-tech state-of-the-art testing facilities will boost the testing capacity by almost 10,000 daily tests.  More number of tests will assist early detection and treatment, thereby helping fight the spread of the virus. He added that these labs will not be limited to testing for COVID, but in future, will also be able to test for Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Dengue and several other diseases.

He underlined that due to timely decisions taken by the government, India is better placed vis-a-vis other countries in terms of deaths due to COVID. The recovery rate is also higher than other countries and is improving on a daily basis. The total number of people who have recovered from the virus is about to reach 10 lakh.

Corona specific health infrastructure

The Prime Minister said that it was imperative for the country to develop corona specific health infrastructure at a fast pace. He noted that the Central government had announced a package of Rs 15,000 crore at the beginning of this battle. The country now has more than 11,000 COVID facilities and more than 11 lakh isolation beds.

While the country had only one COVID testing centre in January 2020, there are almost 1,300 such labs now. He said that at present, more than 5 lakh tests are being conducted in the country daily, and efforts are underway to increase this capacity to 10 lakh a day in the coming weeks.

He noted that the country has become the second largest PPE kit manufacturer. The country has progressed from not having even a single PPE kit manufacturer as recently as six months ago, to having more than 1,200 manufacturers now, who are producing more than 5 lakh such kits daily.

He also highlighted that from being dependent on imports, now more than 3 lakh N-95 masks are being produced in the country daily, annual production capacity of ventilators has become 3 lakh and there has also been a significant increase in the production of medical oxygen cylinders. This has not only helped save lives but has also converted India from an importer to an exporter.

These three high-throughput testing facilities have been set up strategically at ICMR-National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, Noida; ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Mumbai; and ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, and will be able to test over 10,000 samples in a day.

These labs will also reduce turn-around-time and exposure of lab personnel to infectious clinical materials. The labs are enabled to test diseases other than COVID as well, and post the pandemic, will be able to test for Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Cytomegalovirus, Chlamydia, Neisseria, Dengue, etc. (eom)

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