Home / News / India /  Aim is to maintain aggressive testing to bring Covid-19 positivity rate below 5%: Govt

Aim is to maintain aggressive testing to bring Covid-19 positivity rate below 5%: Govt

(From left) NITI Aayog member V.K. Paul and Health Ministry official Rajesh Bhushan briefing media about Covid-19 situation in India (Photo: ANI)Premium
(From left) NITI Aayog member V.K. Paul and Health Ministry official Rajesh Bhushan briefing media about Covid-19 situation in India (Photo: ANI)

  • 19 states and union territories are performing more than 140 Covid-19 tests per day per million population, says Health Ministry official
  • 8 out of 11 districts in Delhi have sero-prevalence more than 20%, says official

New Delhi: Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said 19 states and union territories are performing more than 140 Covid-19 tests per day per million population.

"Number of Covid-19 deaths per million population in India continues to be among the lowest in the world," said Rajesh Bhushan, Officer on Special Duty, Health Ministry, told reporters during a briefing on the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the country.

Bhushan said aggressive testing is necessary to bring down Covid-19 positivity rate and that the aim is to maintain this level of testing so as to bring down positivity rate below 5%.

"Evidence suggests that with a valved mask the person wearing it is safe but if it's an asymptomatic person then propensity of that person infecting others is there. This is an evolving situation," added Bhushan.

The Centre on Monday has written to all states and union territories warning against the use of N-95 masks with valved respirator by people, saying these don't prevent the virus from spreading out and are "detrimental" to the measures adopted for its containment.

The Director General of Health Services in the Ministry of Health, in a letter to the Principal Secretaries of health and medical education of states, said it has been observed that there is "inappropriate use" of N-95 masks, particularly those with valved respirator, by the public other than designated health workers.

"Covid-19 case fatality rate has dropped to 2.43%, effective clinical management leading to decrease in fatality rate," a ministry official said.

"The sero surveillance was done in Delhi to estimate the prevalence of Covid-19 infection among general community of Delhi. Nearly six months into the pandemic it was found that 22.86% people were affected and 77% population are susceptible," said Dr. Sujeet Kumar Singh,Director, National Centre for Disease Control.

The study, which was conducted from June 27 to July 10 by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in collaboration with the Delhi government, also indicated that a large number of infected persons remain asymptomatic.

A sero-survey involves testing of blood serum of individuals to check for the prevalence of antibodies against an infection.

"8 out of 11 districts have sero-prevalence more than 20%. Central, northeast, north and Shahdara districts of Delhi have sero-prevalence of about 27%," said Dr Singh.

"India's deaths per million population due to Covid-19 stand at 20.4, while the global average is 77," the ministry said.

"India's two Covid-19 vaccines are in phase 1 and phase 2 of trials. Discussions have already begun how the vaccines will be made available to all those who need it," said Dr V.K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog.

"Government of India will leave no stone unturned to ensure people of India and international community have access to an Indian vaccine as early as possible. Every possible facilitation will be ensured to make sure trials are conducted scientifically and ethically and we arrive at an affordable option," said Paul.

India recorded 37,148 Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, pushing its tally to 11,55,191 , while the total number of recoveries increased to 7,24,577, according to Union health ministry data on Tuesday.

The death toll due to the disease rose to 28,084 with 587 fatalities reported in a day, the data updated at 8 am showed.

There are 4,02,529 active cases of the coronavirus infection currently in the country, while 7,24,577 people have recovered till now. Thus, 62.72 per cent people have recovered so far, it said.

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