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Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

180 tests per day per million are being done in India, aim is to maintain this level of testing so as to bring down COVID-19 positivity rate below 5%: Health Ministry

30 states / UTs have a COVID-19 positivity rate lower than national rate, Case Fatality Rate of many states/UTs lower than national fatality rate of 2.43%: Health Ministry

AIIMS, New Delhi, is launching a National Clinical Grand Rounds on COVID-19 tomorrow, in association with Health Ministry and NITI Aayog: Dr. V.K. Paul

The sero-survey in Delhi shows an infection prevalence of 22.86%, indicating effectiveness of efforts taken through lockdown and other COVID-19 containment measures : Director, NCDC

Posted On: 21 JUL 2020 6:42PM by PIB Mumbai

New Delhi / Mumbai, 21 July 2020
 

In India, 180 tests per day per million are being done, which is more than the adequate testing rate of 140 tests per day per million population for a prolonged period, as specified in the World Health Organization’s guidance note. Further, 30 states / UTs have a COVID-19 testing positivity rate which is lower than the national rate. This apart, the case fatality rate has dropped to 2.43%. Many states and UTs have a case fatality rate which is lower than the national case fatality rate. This has been informed by Shri Rajesh Bhushan, Officer-On-Special Duty (OSD), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in course of a press briefing on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on COVID-19 held at National Media Centre in New Delhi today. Stating this, Shri Bhushan said, aggressive testing, the biggest weapon against COVID-19, is necessary to bring down positivity rate. “The aim is to maintain this level of testing so as to bring down COVID-19 positivity rate below 5%”, he added.

Shri Bhushan further briefed, the actual COVID-19 disease load in the country as on date is 4,02,529. We need to focus on active cases, not on historical cases so far, he added. These are the patients who are in hospitals, care centres or under home isolation.  Presenting a trajectory of COVID-19 in India, the OSD, Health Ministry, further stated, the proportion of active cases is continually decreasing, recovery rate is increasing day by day.  Number of COVID-19 cases per million population in India continues to be among the lowest in the world, while there are some countries where this figure is around 12 - 13 times higher than that of India. This apart, COVID-19 related deaths per million population in India too continues to be among the lowest in the world, whereas in some countries, this figure is around 21 - 33 times higher than that of India.

Shri Bhushan also said, the Central Government is cooperating with all states and UTs. All decisions are being taken based on science and evidence-based inputs and in consultation with domain knowledge experts, he added.

The Director of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr S.K. Singh briefed, the sero-survey in Delhi shows an infection prevalence of 22.86%, indicating effectiveness of efforts taken through lockdown and other COVID-19 containment measures. At the same time, remaining 77% are vulnerable. Hence, precautions need to continue, he cautioned. He further stated, it is natural that some people such as asymptomatic people are missed by any surveillance network that is put in place. In this scenario, a sero-survey helps to assess prevalence of COVID-19 infection in community. IgM antibody indicates presence of active COVID-19 infection, but it does not give a clear picture of total exposure. On the other hand, IgG antibody remains in the body for a sustained and longer period. While Antibody Detection Tests help assess prevalence of infection in the community, RT-PCR tests and Rapid Antigen Tests are actually helpful in treatment of individual COVID-19 patients, clarified Dr. Singh. The present sero-survey which was conducted in the period June 27-July 10 and consisted of more than 20,000 participants, is a follow-up of the sero-surveillance undertaken by ICMR in containment zones of Delhi. Samples were taken from all ages above 1 years for the sero-survey in Delhi.

Dr. V. K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, informed, AIIMS, New Delhi, is launching a National Clinical Grand Rounds on COVID-19 tomorrow, in association with the Health Ministry and NITI Aayog. This will help bring out the best practices and evidence-based COVID-19 treatment followed by doctors, he said.

In the context of infection prevalence rate in Delhi, Dr. V. K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, said, even after six months, in a densely populated city like Delhi, the infection has reached only around 23%. This points out that the measures taken by the government and community have helped contain the infection to this level. This gives us confidence in the effectiveness of the containment strategies taken, he added. Shri Bhushan said, the increase in testing and containment strategy undertaken in consultation with domain knowledge experts has resulted in bringing the rate of new cases from a COVID-19 positivity rate of 37% in Delhi in the first week of June to the present level.

In reply to a media query on vaccine trials, Dr. V.K.Paul said, every possible regulatory facilitation is being ensured for trials of COVID-19 vaccines, maintaining required scientific, clinical and ethical rigour. The Government of India will leave no stone unturned to ensure that we arrive at an affordable COVID-19 vaccine, he added.

In reply to a media query on testing, Member (Health), NITI Aayog stated, we will attain a COVID-19 testing capacity of more than 5 lakh per day in a few weeks, and in the medium term, we will cross 1 million tests per day as well.

In reply to another media query, Shri Rajesh Bhushan informed that the Joint Monitoring Group on COVID-19 is analysing the post-recovery health complications that have been witnessed in some patients.

The Presentation given by Health Ministry and NCDC can be found here

 

 

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DJM/SC/DR

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