From Our Bureau                                                          


India witnessed a big surge with 52,050 fresh COVID-19 positive cases reported on Tuesday, taking the country’s cumulative tally to 18,55,745. The death toll rose to 38,938, with 803 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.

With 12,30,509 total recoveries, India’s recovered cases are twice the active cases, as of today. In all, 44,306 patients were discharged in the last 24 hours. This has taken the recovery rate among COVID-19 patients to 66.31 percent. Coordinated implementation of COVID-19 management strategy by the Central Government and State/Union Territory governments and selfless sacrifice of all frontline health workers has ensured that the recoveries are continuously on the rise.

The active cases, numbering 5,86,298, account for 31.59 percent of total positive cases and all are under medical supervision.

Effective containment, aggressive testing and standardized clinical management protocols based on a holistic Standard of Care approach continue to result in a progressively decreasing Case Fatality Rate (CFR). India has registered the lowest CFR since the first lockdown at 2.10 percent as compared to the global average.

The mortality analysis of the present data shows that 50 percent of deaths have happened in the age group of 60 years and above; 37 percent deaths have occurred in 45 to 60 years age group; while 11 percent deaths relate to 26-44 years age group. This clearly highlights that people above the age of 45 belong to the high-risk group and country’s containment strategy is focusing on this group. In the gender wise distribution, 68 percent of patients who died were men and 32 percent were women.

India has taken timely and graded measures to ensure availability of ventilators since the start of COVID-19 pandemic which had resulted in a spike in demand all across the world. India decided to encourage domestic supply of ventilators under ‘Make In India’ as 75 percent of the market depended on import and import restrictions were increasing along with the severity of the pandemic.

To meet projected requirement of 60,000 ventilators in the country, the Committee of Technical Experts under Director General of Health Services (DGHS) of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare prescribed the Minimum Essential Specifications for the basic ventilators to be procured for COVID-19 purposes after due and extensive deliberation. The Empowered Group (EG) -3 was constituted for addressing the issue of essential medical supplies. After careful physical demonstration and clinical validation of the domestic ventilator model, orders were placed.

Major orders were placed on two Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) – Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Andhra Med-Tech Zone (AMTZ). In addition, the automobile industry also stepped up along with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). As of now, the ‘Make in India’ ventilators have a market share more than 96 percent by volume and more than 90 percent by value. As on date, they have been installed at more than 700 hospitals. In less than two months, more than 18,000 ventilators have been supplied to States/ UTs/ Central Govt. Hospitals/ DRDO facility.

A record 6,61,892 samples were tested for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. This takes the cumulative testing to 2,08,64,750 samples and the Tests per Million (TPM) to 15,119.

The combined and focused efforts of Central Government and State/UT Governments have resulted in ramped up testing across the country aimed at early detection and isolation of COVID-19 positive cases. The evolving ICMR’s testing strategy has widened the testing net in India.

WHO, in its Guidance Note on “Public Health Criteria to Adjust Public Health and Social Measures in the Context of COVID-19,” has advised comprehensive surveillance for suspected cases.  WHO advises that a country needs 140 tests per day per million population. While India conducts 479 tests/day/million on an average, there are 28 States/UTs in India which are conducting more than 140 tests/day/million, prescribed by WHO.

The focused strategy based on the “Test, Track and Treat” approach focuses on reducing the Positivity Rate of COVID-19 tests. India’s average positivity rate stands at 8.89 percent as on date. There are 28 States/UTs which have positivity less than 10 percent which indicates that the testing strategy is on the right track. The effort of Central Government and State/UT governments is to further restrict the Positivity Rate to 5 percent

With the aim to conduct 10 lakh tests daily, the testing capacity is being continuously ramped up. The testing lab network in the country currently stands at a total of 1,356 labs– 917 labs in the government sector and 439 private labs. These include: Real-Time RT PCR based testing labs: 691 (Govt: 420 + Private: 271), TrueNat based testing labs: 558 (Govt: 465 + Private: 93) and CBNAAT based testing labs: 107 (Govt: 32 + Private: 75). (eom)

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