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Timely case identification, proper clinical management reason for low mortality rate: Govt

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Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The mortality rate in COVID-19 cases in India is 3.06 per cent as against the global rate of 6.65, the Union health ministry said on Thursday, even as the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 3,435 and the number of cases to 1,12,359 in the country.

The ministry credited the efforts towards timely case identification and proper clinical management for the low mortality rate.

An analysis of the deaths show 64 per cent of the fatalities in males and the remaining 36 per cent in females, it said.

The ministry said the period of lockdown has been gainfully utilised to ramp up the health infrastructure, with around 3,027 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and 7,013 care centres being readied across the country to fight the disease.

The announcement came after some media reports questioned the country's preparedness to deal with the highly infectious disease.

"There are reports in a section of the media about some decisions of the government regarding the lockdown implementation and response to COVID-19 management. The period of the lockdown has been gainfully utilised to ramp up the health infrastructure in the country," the ministry said.

As on date, 45,299 people have recovered from the coronavirus, taking the country's recovery rate to 40.32 per cent, it said.

More than 2.81 lakh isolation beds, 31,250 ICU beds and 1,09,888 oxygen supported beds have already been identified in dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and health centres. Also, 6,50,930 isolation beds have been readied in COVID-19 care centres, the ministry said.

Providing an age distribution of the fatalities, the ministry said 0.5 per cent of deaths have been reported in the less than 15 years age group, 2.5 per cent between 15 and 30 years, 11.4 per cent in those aged between 30 and 45, 35.1per cent between 45-60 years and 50.5 per cent fatalities among people aged above 60 years.

Further, 73 per cent of the deaths had underlying co-morbidities. Elderly people (above 60 years of age) and people having co-morbidities are identified as high risk groups for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the ICMR said that for every positive COVID-19 test more than 20 negative tests have been done, asserting there has been a 1,000-fold increase in the quantum of tests per day in the last two months.

A total of 25,12,388 samples had been tested by 9 am of May 20, and the testing capacity has been scaled up to 1 lakh tests per day, it said.

Starting with less than 100 COVID-19 tests per day just two months ago, a 1,000-fold increase in just 60 days was made possible by dedicated teams from research institutions, medical colleges, testing laboratories, ministries, airlines and postal services working together, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said in a statement.

It is advised that community awareness on COVID-19 is an important intervention for prevention for spread of this disease, the ministry said as it stressed on the need to focus on personal hygiene, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquettes and environmental sanitation.

Face covers and masks should be used in public places and physical distancing should be followed, large gatherings should be avoided, individuals in high risk groups should stay at home except for essential and health purposes, it said.

The central government has supplied 65 lakh personal protective equipment (PPE) coveralls and 101.07 lakh N95 masks to the states, the ministry said.

"Nearly 3 lakh PPE coveralls and N95 masks each are now being manufactured per day by domestic producers. These were not produced in the country earlier," it said.

Also, in a "Guidance note for immunisation services during and post COVID outbreak", the ministry said birth dose vaccinations at health facilities would continue irrespective of the categorisation of zones amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the document, an area exiting a containment or a buffer zone category can start facility-based and outreach immunization activities only after a minimum gap of 14 days.

In the last 24 hours since Wednesday morning, an increase of 132 deaths and 5,609 cases was registered, according to the Union Health Ministry.

The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 63,624, while 45,299 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, it said.

"Thus, around 40.32 per cent patients have recovered so far," a senior health ministry official said.

Of the total 3,435 fatalities, Maharashtra tops the tally with 1,390 fatalities. It is followed by Gujarat at 749 deaths, Madhya Pradesh at 267, West Bengal at 253, Delhi at 176, Rajasthan at 147, Uttar Pradesh at 127,Tamil Nadu at 87 and Andhra Pradesh at 53.

The death toll reached 41 in Karnataka, 40 in Telangana and 38 in Punjab.

Jammu and Kashmir has reported 18 fatalities due to the disease and Haryana 14, while Bihar has registered 10 deaths and Odisha six.

Kerala and Assam have reported four deaths each so far.

Jharkhand, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh each have recorded three COVID-19 fatalities, while Meghalaya and Uttarakhand have reported one fatality each, according to the data provided by the health ministry.

According to the ministry's website, more than 70 per cent of the deaths are due to comorbidities, the existence of multiple disorders in the same person.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 21 2020. 22:52 IST
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