Recovery rate continues to improve: Health Ministry

It, however, says, ‘the war against COVID-19 is a long-drawn one and we are far from safe”

India’s coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery rate has improved from 26.59 % on May 2 to 41.61% on May 26, according to figures released by the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday. The Ministry, however, maintained that this improved recovery rate should not allow complacency to set in.

“The war against COVID-19 is a long-drawn one and we are far from safe”, it said. The case fatality rate was showing a downward trend from 3.30% (as on April 15) to around 2.87% at present, which is amongst the lowest in the world. The global average is presently around 6.45%.

“An analysis of case mortality per lakh population indicates that India has about 0.3 deaths per lakh population, which is also amongst the lowest in the world against the statistics of 4.4 deaths per lakh population for the world. The relatively low death figures, both in terms of mortality per lakh population and case fatality rate, represent timely case identification and clinical management of the cases,” said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, Health Ministry at a press conference.

Tuesday’s figures

On Tuesday, the country reported 6,535 new cases and 146 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases in the country to 1,45,380, including 80,722 active ones, 60,490 cured/discharged and 4167 deaths.

No major side-effects of HCQ, should be continued as preventive treatment for COVID-19: ICMR

Mr. Agarwal warned that the improved recovery rate and the low fatality rate should not ‘make us relaxed’. “We can easily slide back on our gains if community support isn’t continued. More so now than ever before we need to maintain hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and effective sanitation along with social distancing and use of masks. There is need to ensure COVID-19 appropriate behaviour to tide over this crisis. Maintenance of physical distancing in public is the social vaccine the world currently has against the novel Coronavirus,” he pointed out.

Secretary, Health, Preeti Sudan, on Tuesday held a high-level review meeting with senior officials of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, which are witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases since the last three weeks as lockdown rules have been eased and inter-State migration allowed.

“The States were briefed on mapping individual case trajectory with respect to case fatality rate, doubling time, testing per million and confirmation percentage. Also, factors that need to be focused for effective containment strategy were pointed out such as perimeter control, diligent house-to-house survey through special surveillance teams, testing, active contact tracing and effective clinical management,’’ said a release issued by the Ministry.

Each containment zone had to be analysed to check the trends and adopt course correction measures through proper formation and implementation of micro plans.

“It was reiterated that the States need to focus their attention on assessing the existing health infrastructure in terms of quarantine centres, hospitals with ICU/Ventilator/oxygen beds etc., and to strengthen for the next two months,’’ the release said.

All the States need to continue essential health programmes for TB, leprosy and non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, treatment of injuries and trauma due to accidents. “We have advised the States that Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) can be stationed at quarantine centres; temporary sub-health centres set up in existing buildings and additional front line workers utilised,’’ it added.

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