Other States

Coronavirus | Five States account for 70% of total COVID-19 deaths

Greater Chennai Corporation health worker collects samples for a swab test, at Perambur, in Chennai.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Emphasising that while life is important, livelihood is equally vital, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday said India is undertaking the unlocking process, despite rise in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, with adequate precautions, preparedness and awareness.

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Speaking at a press conference, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that five States — Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra — currently account for 70% of total COVID-19 deaths in the country. But only two States — Karnataka and Delhi — show an increase in daily deaths. There is an increase in the case fatality trajectory in two States — Karnataka and Delhi. Delhi has seen 50% and Karnataka has seen 9.6% increase in average daily case fatality, he said.

“Looking at the rise in the number of active cases and deaths in Delhi, we are engaging with the Delhi government and have given some specific instructions to the government. If those are followed, we are sure that the number of cases can be brought under control, as has been done before,” said Mr. Bhushan.

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The Ministry added that there had been a 13.7% weekly decrease in the number of active COVID-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh, 16.1% decrease in Karnataka, 6.8% decrease in Maharashtra and 23.9% decrease in Tamil Nadu, 17.1% decrease in Uttar Pradesh. “Five States — Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra account for 62% of total active cases in the country,” said Mr. Bhushan.

He added that while the daily COVID-19 positive numbers were increasing, this had to be seen in the context of total population. “The government has adopted a graded approach of opening the economy, ensuring adequate testing capacity, clear guidelines of clinical treatment protocol and enhanced hospital infrastructure,” he said.

Plasma therapy

Prof (Dr.) Balram Bhargava, DG, Indian Council of Medical Research, participating in the conference, said the results of the use of plasma therapy for COVID-19 treatment undertaken in 39 hospitals across India would be released soon. “Also, the second sero-survey has started in the whole country (70 districts). We should get the results soon,” he added, while stating that researchers were looking into the time period for which a person gets immunity against the virus after being infected.

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The Ministry also released data on the positivity rate among healthcare workers. In Telangana, 18 per cent of the healthcare workers were infected, while it was 16 per cent in Maharashtra, 14 per cent in Delhi, 13 per cent in Karnataka, 12 per cent in Puducherry and 11 per cent in Punjab.

68,000 discharged in a day

Mr. Bhushan also said that India registered the highest recoveries in a single day on Thursday — 68,584 COVID-19 patients were discharged in the last 24 hours. “This has led to a surge in the total number of recovered patients, which is nearly 30 lakh (2,970,492). With this, India’s recovery rate amongst the COVID-19 patients has crossed 77% (77.09%). The number of recovered patients has outpaced the active cases (8,15,538) by more than 21.5 lakh,” said Mr. Bhushan.

India has also conducted over 11.7 lakh (11,72,179) sample tests for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. With this achievement, the cumulative tests were more than 4.5 crore (4,55,09,380), said the Ministry.

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“This demonstrates an exponential increase in the daily COVID-19 testing in the country. From conducting merely 10 tests per day on January 30, the daily average has crossed more than 11 lakh currently,” said a release issued by the Ministry, adding that India’s daily testing numbers are one of the highest in the world.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 1:18:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-five-states-account-for-70-of-total-covid-19-deaths/article32517337.ece

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