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Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan addresses a press conference on Covid-19 pandemic, in New Delhi. ICMR DG Balram Bhargava is also seen (PTI)
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan addresses a press conference on Covid-19 pandemic, in New Delhi. ICMR DG Balram Bhargava is also seen (PTI)

82% of total Covid-19 cases in 10 states and UTs: Govt

Over 50% of Covid-19 deaths in India are of patients aged 60 and above, says Health Ministry

New Delhi: Even though Covid-19 has spread to newer areas in the country, about 82% of the total cases remain in 10 states and UTs, union health ministry said on Tuesday.

India's Covid-19 tally increased to 18,55,745 with 52,050 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day and the death toll neared 40,000-mark.

"50 districts currently account for 66% of the Covid-19 caseload in India. The country, on an average, is conducting 479 tests per day per million population. 28 States/UTs are showing a positivity rate of less than 10%," the ministry officials said.

“We analysed positivity on the basis of three parameters, i.e. measure of positivity in total numbers, measure on the basis of total testing in the country and in individual states and UTs, and measure on the basis of 7 days' rolling average,"’said Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

“The cumulative positivity of India presently stands at 8.89%. In the last week, the country's positivity rate was 11%, which means that there are still certain states which need focus as the positivity is rising in those states," he added.

The government said that the case fatality rate is now the lowest (2.10%) since the first lockdown started on 25 March, 2020.

Union health ministry did the mortality analysis on the basis of age and gender, which showed that 68% deaths have been among male patients, 32% among female patients.

The government analysis also showed that 50% deaths have occurred to people aged above 60 years, while 37% of deaths occurred to people in the age group of 45- 60 years.

“There is a need to take special care of senior citizens and their physical distancing. The data shows 45-60 years’ age group is also vulnerable and called for them to remain safe and follow the covid Appropriate Behaviours, especially if they have co-morbidities," said Bhushan.

The ministry officials also said that guidelines have been issued clarifying that deaths of covid-19 patients with co-morbidities are to be treated as covid-19 deaths, not death due to co-morbidities, to bring in a standardized way of death reporting in the country.

“States including Maharashtra, which have reported maximum number of covid-19 cases and deaths, have a high rate of death registration. The proportion of medically certified deaths among total deaths too is high in these states. There is no underreporting of deaths in the country," said Bhushan.

Meanwhile, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in a notification issued on Tuesday lifted ban on exports of ventilators and said that any kind of artificial respiratory apparatus is allowed.

"Prior to Covid-19 outbreak, 755 of ventilators in India were imported. Since March 2020, the demand for ventilators spiked all over the world and many ventilator producing countries imposed an export restriction. At that time, even the limited number of domestic manufacturers were dependent on imported components. At that time, there was a projected requirement of 60,000 ventilators in the country, although the situation was dynamic and evolving. "However, now we find ourselves in a comfortable situation as far as patients requiring ventilator-support are concerned", said Bhushan.

"The ministry is tracking real time status of dispatch, delivery and installation of ventilators through a dashboard. Each of these ventilators are geo-tagged to track their location. Further, the Health Ministry has created 36 WhatsApp Groups for each state and UT with officials from Health Ministry, state representatives, doctors from hospitals and suppliers in group, where issues related to ventilators are raised and resolved by the concerned party," he added.

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