Stating that only 49 out of 733 districts account for 80 per cent Covid-19 cases, the Centre on Thursday said that despite reporting over 7.8 lakh cases, India is not in the stage of community transmission.
Rajesh Bhushan, OSD, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, also said the WHO has not issued a “standard definition” yet for localised outbreak and community transmission. “They have given member-states the power to examine local situation and report it,” he said.
On reports of the virus being airborne, he said, “It is a dynamic and evolving situation. We are keeping abreast with information from WHO on this aspect.”
Addressing the media, Bhushan said, “Today, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan made it clear in the Group of Ministers’ meeting that India is not in the stage of community transmission. There are a few geographical areas where localised outbreak is being reported. We should not forget that 49 of 733 districts alone account for 80 per cent Covid cases. Therefore, to talk of community transmission is not justified.”
He also said, “We believe that wherever an active case is being , and when protocols are complied with, within three days all close contacts (of patient) are being traced. In a situation where all close contacts are being traced, it not justified to talk about community transmission.”
The government pointed out that India, at 538, has amongst the lowest cases per million population.
“The gap between active cases and recovered cases is progressively increasing. We have 4.76 lakh recovered cases and only 2.69 lakh active cases. Recoveries are approximately 1.75 times the number of active cases. This tells us that…we have managed a situation where our health care infrastructure is not unduly burdened,” Bhushan said.
Bhushan said 75 per cent of Indian population is under the age of 44, and only 15 per cent coronavirus deaths have been reported from this segment. In contrast, 85 per cent of the deaths so far have been reported among the remaining 25 per cent of the population: people who are 45 and above.
At 39 per cent, most deaths have been recorded in the 60-74 age group, which constitutes 8 per cent of the population, Bhushan said.
“This 25 per cent of the population requires special attention,” he said.
During the briefing, a Home Ministry spokesperson said there has been a “marked improvement” in Delhi in the last few weeks.
Giving a break-up, Bhushan said: “35 percent of Indian population is under the age of 14; only 1 per cent of total Covid deaths are in this age group. 18 percent of the population is in the age group of 15-29, but only 3 per cent of total Covid deaths are in this age group; 22 percent population is in the age group of 30-44, (where) 11 percent Covid deaths have been reported.”
He said, “If you look at the three age groups as one block, only 15 per cent of total Covid death are from this.”
“However, we should not forget the high-risk population — 15 percent of the population is in the age group of 45-59; (and) 32 per cent of the total Covid deaths are in this age group. 8 percent population is in the age group of 60-74; 39 per cent of total Covid deaths are in this age group. Only 2 per cent population is in the age group above 75 years; and 14 percent of total deaths are in this group.”
Talking about Delhi, the MHA official said during the briefing, “Measures taken include increasing Rapid Antigen testing capacity…the development of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Covid-19 Hospital by the DRDO has proven to be a game-changer.”
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