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Only 0.33 per cent COVID-19 patients are on ventilators: Vardhan


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday said of the total active COVID-19 cases in the country, only 0.33 per cent patients are on ventilators, 1.5 per cent are on oxygen support and 2.34 per cent are in ICU.
Active COVID-19 patients are those who have been diagnosed with the disease and are currently undergoing treatment in hospitals or are lodged in quarantine facilities.
The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 1,008 and the number of cases climbed to 31,787 in the country on Wednesday, according to the Union Health Ministry. The number of active COVID-19 cases stand at 22,982 in the country, according to the data updated on Wednesday evening.
Oxygen therapy is given to supplement the oxygen deficiency usually through masks or nasal prongs while ventilator is a mechanical respiratory device which does the work of the lungs when the body is unable to do the required breathing.
Vardhan, who interacted with the Lions Club International members across the country through video conference, said the doubling rate of coronavirus cases is 11.3 days in the country for the last three days.
The Union minister said the mortality rate in COVID-19 patients in India is three per cent as compared to seven per cent globally and around 86 per cent of the fatalities have been reported among those with co-morbiditie like diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney and heart related issues.
"Only 0.33 per cent patients are on ventilators, 1.5 per cent patients are on oxygen support and 2.34 per cent patients are in ICU, which reflects the quality of care being provided across the country," Vardhan said.
In case of any further eventuality, the country is well equipped with isolation beds, ventilators, personal protection equipment and masks among others, he said.
Vardhan also informed that 288 government laboratories are working along with 97 private laboratory chains with around 16,000 sample collection centres and testing around 60,000 tests per day.
The government is working to increase the testing capacity to one lakh tests per day within the next few days, he added.
Since the development of a vaccine is going to take a longer time, lockdown and social distancing are serving as effective 'social vaccine', Vardhan said.
"The Ministry of Science and Technology, under my charge, has also been working on innovations and have been funding certain projects which are going to make the testing procedure quite fast," he said.
Maintaining a continuous situation awareness, pre-emptive and proactive approach, graded response as per continuously evolving scenario, inter-sectoral coordination at all levels and creating a people's movement to combat this disease has been India's approach in combating COVID-19, the minister highlighted.
Commenting on the country's strength in tackling the disease, he said, "India has successfully tackled public health emergencies of international concern and pandemics in the past as well.
"Our nation has the requisite national core capacities stipulated in the International Health Regulations to manage public health emergencies."

The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), which is a nation-wide surveillance system for epidemic prone diseases, has been activated towards COVID response, and is being further strengthened with substantive digital inputs," Vardhan said, he said.
"I value Lions Club members having made appreciable contribution in our fight against COVID-19, especially through PM-CARES contribution, equipments, sanitizers food, PPE kits and N95 masks for hospitals," Vardhan said.
Vardhan expressed his gratitude to the Lions Club members for contributing an amount of Rs 9.1 Crores in the PM CARES fund and of Rs 12.5 Crores to the various Chief Ministers Relief Funds.
Meanwhile, Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan chaired a meeting through video conference with representatives from states and districts to discuss on health infrastructure and other aspects related to COVID-19 management on Wednesday.
The functioning of GIS Dashboard, COVID-19 portal and dedicated RT-PCR referral App was discussed during the meeting.
She urged states to promote the Arogya Setu App which is a self assessment tool helpful in the prevention efforts of the government.
She emphasised that non-COVID essential medical care should not be neglected.
It was reiterated during the meeting that patients needing care like dialysis, cancer treatment, diabetics, pregnant women and those suffering from cardiac ailments must be given adequate care.
Speaking on management of COVID-19 cases, Dr Balram Bhargava, Secretary (DHR) and DG, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) emphasized on the importance of the meticulousness in collection of samples and filling up of the accompanying forms.
States were informed that the RT-PCR app has been made functional and needs to be put to use immediately.
It's an App used for collection centres to fill data at the point of sample collection, to ensure real time data to cut time delay and avoid duplication in efforts of filling in same data at multiple points.

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First Published: Apr 29 2020 | 7:26 PM IST

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