Coronavirus India Updates: Over 11.5 lakh Covid-19 cases have been reported in India, with the country recording 37,148 additional cases of the disease and 587 deaths in the last 24 hours alone. Overall, there are more than four lakh people undergoing treatment for Covid-19 presently, while 7.2 lakh have recovered, according to data put out by the Union Ministry of Health on Tuesday. India’s daily case load has been rising steadily; Tuesday marks the sixth consecutive day of over 30,000 cases.
In a tally released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 1,43,81,303 samples have been tested till July 20. On Monday, 3,33,395 samples were tested. (Follow Coronavirus India Live Updates)
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has confirmed that over 70 per cent of the deaths in India have occurred due to co-morbidities.
The key states fuelling India’s numbers include Maharashtra, New Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. (Don’t miss from Explained: India’s coronavirus numbers, and what they mean)
Aim is to bring down positivity rate below 5%, says Health Ministry
Addressing a press conference, Rajesh Bhushan, OSD, Health Ministry, said India’s Covid-19 case fatality rate had dropped to 2.43 per cent due to effective clinical management. “India’s deaths per million population stand at 20.4, while the global average is 77,” Bhushan said.
The Health Ministry said 19 states and Union Territories were performing more than 140 Covid-19 tests per day per million population. Thirty states/Union Territories have positivity rate lower than India average.
“Aggressive testing is necessary to bring down positivity rate. The aim is to maintain this level of testing so as to bring down positivity rate below 5 per cent,” he said.
Two Indian vaccines in Phase I and II trials
Meanwhile, the Niti Aayog said two vaccines were undergoing Phase I and II trials in India and discussions have already begun on how to make them available to those in need.
“The government will leave no stone unturned to ensure people of India and the international community have access to an Indian vaccine as early as possible. Every possible facilitation will be ensured making sure trials conducted scientifically and ethically and we arrive at an affordable option,” Dr VK Paul, member (Health), Niti Aayog, said.
AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria says data from New Delhi suggests the Covid curve is flattening and the city “may have crossed the peak”. Guleria, who is part of the core team monitoring the pandemic in India, however, warned that we cannot let our guard down.
“If you look at the data from Delhi, it does suggest that we seem to have flattened the curve and, maybe, are showing a downward trend. So, it is possible that we have crossed the peak as far as Delhi is concerned. But, considering the trend in other cities and even in the US, having crossed the peak doesn’t mean that you can let your guard down. We still need to be very careful. If you start decreasing social distancing and mask-wearing, there can be a resurgence of cases and you may have another spike,” Guleria told The Indian Express.
In other news from the national capital, results of the serological survey has shown that 23.48 per cent of the people surveyed developed IgG (Immunoglobulin G) antibodies, indicating they had been exposed to the coronavirus. The study also indicated that a large number of infected persons remain asymptomatic.
The central government has written to states and Union Territories saying N-95 masks with valved respirators may not prevent the coronavirus from spreading. The Director General of Health Services (DGHS) in the Health Ministry said there was “inappropriate use” of such masks by the public.
“It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N-95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of coronavirus as it does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask. In view of the above, I request you to instruct all concerned to follow the use of face/mouth cover and prevent inappropriate use of N-95 masks,” DGHS Rajiv Garg said in the letter, reported PTI.
Chennai corporation officials have told IndianExpress.com the spread of Covid-19 has been controlled with aggressive and focused testing. Officials have been able to identify positive cases at an early stage with the help of door to door surveillance and fever camps. Citing an example, a senior corporation official said, “There used to be a time when Royapuram and Tondiarpet used to have 200 cases per day; now we are getting maximum 50-80 cases a day.”
Chennai, as of July 20, has 87,235 positive cases of Covid-19, which makes up 50 per cent of the total cases in Tamil Nadu.
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Telangana’s recovery rate has improved to 72 per cent, while the death rate is less than one per cent, government data shows. As of July 19, 32,438 patients of the 45,076 cases in the state had recovered, while 409 had succumbed to the disease.
In other news from the state, the first dose of vaccine Covaxin, developed by city-based Bharat Biotech and currently in the trials phase, was administered to two volunteers at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS). “They are both stable and all their vitals are fine. We will keep them under observation for 48 hours after which they will be discharged,” said Dr G Srinivas, who is a member of the team.
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