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Coronavirus | India pegs fatality rate at 3.3%

Photojournalists wait under a tree to cover the burial of a COVID-19 victim at a cemetery in New Delhi on April 16, 2020.

Photojournalists wait under a tree to cover the burial of a COVID-19 victim at a cemetery in New Delhi on April 16, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP

The Indian Council of Medical Research has said the rapid testing kit is not for diagnosis but for surveillance, especially in hotspots.

India registered over 800 COVID-19 positive cases on Thursday, with the tally touching 12,759 cases and 420 deaths. These include over 10,824 active cases. A total of 1,541 people have been cured and discharged and one had migrated. The total number of cases include 76 foreign nationals.

The Health Ministry noted that India’s case fatality rate is 3.3% and percentage of people recovered is 12.02.

India coronavirus lockdown Day 23 updates | Helpline numbers

According to reports from the State Health Departments, the total number of COVID-19 cases in India are 13,339, of which 11,289 are active ones. A total of 452 people have died of the disease.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said the rapid testing kit is not for diagnosis but for surveillance, especially in hotspots.

A total of 3,02,956 samples from 2,86,714 individuals have been tested as on Thursday.

‘We are not testing less’

“Working in one shift, more than 42,400 samples can be tested per day; if we work in two shifts, we will be able to test more than 78,200 samples per day,” said ICMR spokesperson R.R. Gangakhedkar.

Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India | State-wise tracker for coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates

Refuting allegation that India is not conducting enough coronavirus tests, the ICMR said, “India tests 24 people for one positive case, while Japan tests 11.7, Italy 6.7 and the U.S. tests 5.3. So, one cannot say that India is testing less.”

The spokesperson confirmed that India has on Thursday received 5 lakh rapid test kits for COVID-19 from China. “These have a sensitivity of over 80% and are serology kits which is not to be used for early diagnosis but for surveillance purpose, especially in hotspots,” said Dr. Gangakhedkar.

Coronavirus | India pegs fatality rate at 3.3%
 

He added that there was no need to be concerned over the efficacy of the rapid antibody testing kits. “If an antibody test of a person turns out to be positive, one cannot necessarily be sure the person would not get infected ever again. This means, even if antibody is present, that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be effectively able to fight the virus.”

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“Rapid antibody tests are for monitoring surveillance, not for diagnosis. Hence there is no concern with respect to the testing kits being faulty, that concern was with respect to immune response alone,” the ICMR spokesperson said.

The implementation of containment strategies in some districts which earlier had reported COVID-19 cases has yielded positive results. One of such place is Puducherry’s Mahe district, where no case of the infection has been reported in the last 28 days. There are 27 other districts also where no positive case has been reported in a fortnight.

The Ministry added that the Central government has amended the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, to ramp up availability and production of bulk drugs. All projects or activities in respect of bulk drugs and intermediates have been re-categorised, to fast-track their appraisal.

An advisory for safe drinking water practices during lockdown has been issued with the State governments being advised to augment water supplies with special focus on relief camps and for vulnerable sections of the society.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 12:18:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-india-pegs-fatality-rate-at-33/article31360225.ece

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