From Our Bureau   

11TH AUGUST 2020

India witnessed a big surge with 53,601 fresh COVID-19 positive cases reported on Tuesday, taking the country’s cumulative tally to 22,68,675. The death toll rose to 45,257, with 871 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.

The successful implementation of effective containment strategy, aggressive and comprehensive testing coupled with standardized clinical management of the critical patients based on holistic Standard of Care approach, have resulted in a sharp hike in the recovery rate, which is pegged at nearly 70 percent today.

With more patients recovering and being discharged from hospitals and home isolation (in case of mild and moderate cases), the total recoveries have jumped to 15,83,489 with 47,746 COVID-19 patients discharged in the last 24 hours.

The actual case load of the country is the active cases, numbering 6,39,929, which is only 28.21 percent of the total positive cases. They are under active medical supervision.

With a consistent and sustained increase in recoveries, the gap between recovered patients and active COVID-19 cases has reached nearly 9.5 lakh. India’s TEST, TRACK, TREAT strategy is showing the desired result- the gap between percentage of Recoveries and percentage of Active Cases is growing every day.

Focus on improved and effective clinical treatment in hospitals, use of non-invasive, improved and coordinated services of the ambulances for ferrying patients for prompt and timely treatment have resulted in seamless efficient patient management of COVID-19 patients. As a result, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) has been low when compared to the global average. It has fallen below 2 percent today, currently standing at 1.99 percent.

The cumulative number of tests reached 2,52,81,848 today, with 6,98,290 tests conducted in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today interacted with the Chief Ministers and representatives of 10 States, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh, via video conferencing to discuss the current situation and plan ahead for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. Karnataka was represented by the Deputy Chief Minister. 

Teamwork by Team India

The Prime Minister said that everyone has shown a great degree of cooperation and the teamwork displayed by Team India has been remarkable. He recalled the challenges and pressure faced by hospitals and health care workers. He mentioned that almost 80 percent of active cases are from the participating 10 States,  and if the virus is defeated in these ten states, the entire country would emerge victorious in the battle against COVID-19.

Increasing testing, bringing down fatality rate

The PM noted that the number of daily tests has reached almost 7 lakh and is increasing continuously, which has helped in early identification and containment. The average fatality rate in the country is amongst the lowest in the World and it is continuously going down. The percentage of active cases is decreasing, while the recovery rate is increasing. He noted that these steps have boosted the confidence of people and asserted that the target of bringing down the fatality rate below 1 percent can be achieved soon.

The PM underlined that what has emerged from the discussion is an urgent need to ramp up testing in Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Telangana. He said that containment, contact tracing and surveillance are the most effective weapons in this battle. People have become aware and are ably assisting these efforts, as a result of which, we have been successful in using home quarantine so effectively.

He noted the usefulness of Aarogya Setu app and said that as per experts, if we are able to identify the cases in the initial 72 hours, then the spread of the virus can be slowed down. He emphasized on the need to trace and test all those who had come in contact with an infected person within 72 hours. This should be followed like a mantra, with the same earnestness as washing hands, maintaining do gaz doori, wearing masks etc.

Strategy in Delhi and nearby states

The PM recounted the experience of the Home Minister in preparing a roadmap for tackling the pandemic together with Delhi and nearby States. He said that the main pillars of this strategy were segregation of containment zones and focus on screening, especially of those in high risk category. The results of these steps are there for all to see, he said, adding that steps like better management in hospitals and increasing ICU beds also proved very helpful.

Chief Ministers speak

The Chief Ministers provided feedback on the ground situation in their States. They praised the leadership of the Prime Minister for the successful management of the pandemic and thanked him for his constant guidance and support. They talked about tests being conducted, steps taken to increase testing, use of tele-medicine and efforts to ramp up health infrastructure. They requested further guidance by the Union Health Ministry for conducting sero-surveillance, while also suggesting the setting up of integrated medical infrastructure in the country.

The Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, presented an overview of COVID cases in the country, noting that the rate of growth of cases in some States is higher than the average rate, and requested the States to focus on optimal utilization of testing capacity. He emphasized on the need for reporting accurate mortality figures and also talked about perimeter monitoring of containment zones with the help of local communities. (eom)

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