The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday asserted that in India the number of Coronavirus COVID-19 deaths reported per lakh population is just 0.2. Addressing a press brief, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said, "Overall, 4.2 people per lakh population have died due to COVID-19. Nine countries have reported more than 10 deaths per lakh population."
He presented a comparative analysis of COVID-19 cases stating that 62 people per lakh population of the world have been infected by COVID-19, while in India, the figure is just 7.9 people COVID-19 cases per lakh population. The figures in 10 most infected countries range from 115 to 496. In six countries more than two lakh cases have been recorded and even as high as 14 lakh cases have been recorded in a country.
In the 15 most impacted countries in the world which together has a population of 142 crores (approximately), 36.45 lakh cases have been recorded; whereas in India where we have a population of 137 crores, around 1 lakh COVID-19 cases have been recorded.
Similarly, while 2.7 lakh (approximately) deaths have been recorded in those countries taken together, India has recorded around 3,300 deaths. India, which has a population close to the total population of these countries taken together, has recorded 34 times less number of cases and 83 times fewer deaths.
The number of COVID-19 patients who have recovered stand at 42,298, while 61,149 people are under active medical supervision in the country as on date said Agarwal. He pointed out that the country’s graded, proactive and pre-emptive approach, in coordination with states, with a focus on prevention, containment and management of cases has yielded relatively positive results so far.
Urging that we need to focus on dealing in the right manner with positive cases and providing a proper health infrastructure to the patients, the Joint Secretary shared certain analyses of COVID-19 management in India.
When lockdown had just started, the recovery rate in India was around 7.1 per cent. With more efforts to identify cases earlier and proper clinical management of positive cases, the recovery rate went up to 11.42% at the start of Lockdown 2, which steadily went up to 26.59% and now it stands at 39.62%. It means that approximately 40 per cent of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered.
Further, only 2.94% out of the 61,000 (approx.) active cases require oxygen support, while 3% of cases are on ICU support and 0.45% cases are on ventilator support. This data significantly throws light on the fact that early identification and proper surveillance has led only 6.39% of cases to have hospital management.
Responding to a question on the revised discharge policy, the Joint Secretary said: “Evidence shows that presymptomatic/mild/moderate cases with no fever for 10 days will not spread COVID-19 infection, they have hence been allowed to go home, do home isolation and take required precautions.”
Stating that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is monitoring lockdown measures along with State/UT Governments, the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Punya Salila Srivastava briefed that State/UT Governments have already issued lockdown directives in their areas, on basis of an assessment of the local situation.
On the basis of the Health Ministry's guidelines, they are defining the red, orange, green, buffer and containment zones in their jurisdiction. Lockdown has been extended till May 31 in view of public welfare and MHA has issued new guidelines related to lockdown, in which certain movements will remain restricted at the national level and only essential services will be allowed in containment zones, she added.
Dr Raman Gangakhedkar of ICMR briefed that 25,36,156 COVID-19 tests have been done till 12.30 pm on Wednesday. On May 19, for the second time, more than 1 lakh tests were carried out within a span of 24 hours. There are 555 laboratories engaged in COVID-19 tests presently, out of which 351 labs fall within ICMR network. While 89,466 tests were performed in ICMR labs yesterday, 18,143 tests were done in private laboratories.