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Rajesh Bhushan, OSD, Ministry of Health (ANI)
Rajesh Bhushan, OSD, Ministry of Health (ANI)

Covid-19: 53% of India's virus deaths are over 60 years of age, says govt

  • The Ministry also informed that according to WHO report, there are 538 cases per million population in the country while in some countries are at least 16-17 times more than what it is in India
  • The ministry also said Bharat Biotech & Cadila Healthcare are developing vaccines for the virus.

Amid the novel coronavirus cases in the country touching 7.6 lakh since the outbreak, the Union Health Ministry today said the number of virus cases and deaths per million population remains the lowest in the world.

During the health ministry pressers, Rajesh Bhushan, Officer on Special Duty, Ministry of Health said, "despite a population of 1.3 billion people, India has been able to manage COVId-19 relatively well. If you look at cases per million population it still remains amongst lowest in the world."

The Ministry also informed that according to the World Health Organization report, there are 538 cases per million population in the country while in some countries are at least 16-17 times more than what it is in India.

"We have 15 deaths per million population whereas we have countries where it is 40 times as much," said Bhushan.

The Ministry also added that more than half the Covid-19 deaths, 53%, are fatalities over 60 years of age. One percent of the deaths in India are among 14 years of age, 3% among people between 15 to 29 years of age, while 11% between 30 and 44 years of age, 32% among 45-59 years of aged and 39% among people who are aged between 60 and 74.

Speaking on the community transmission of the virus in the country, Bhushan said, "WHO has also not provided any standard definition of the localised outbreak and community transmission. They have given its member states the right to report after assessing the local conditions."

The case load of Covid-19 in India is at 2,69,000 people, the ministry informed in the presser. "This tells us that at the end of the day we've managed a situation where our health care infrastructure is not unduly burdened&is not creaking due to the pressure," Bhushan added.

Further, Indian Council of Medical Research said it is increasing testing network across the country. India is currently testing more than 2.6 lakh of samples per day. "We hope to see a further rise by the use of the antigen test," said ICMR Senior scientist Nivedita Gupta.

As many as 6,79,831 Covid-19 tests have been conducted in Delhi alone, which accounts for 35,780 tests per 10 lakh people. Over 20,000 tests are being conducted daily and the active cases are in control in the national capital, informed Punya Salila Srivastava, Joint Secy, Home Ministry.

In near future, ICMR is planning a follow-up seroprevalence study pan India to the earlier sero-surveillance that they had done for mid-April infections, informed Bhushan. ICMR is also focussing in Test-track-Treat method of Covid-19 testing.

When asked on health ministry's "August 15 deadline for Covid-19 vaccine and why has it been expedited, Bhushan clarified, "Please don't read something which is not there in DG-ICMR's letter. Letter's intent is only to expedite duly approved clinical trials without compromising on safety and security concerns.

The ministry also said Bharat Biotech & Cadila Healthcare are developing vaccines for the virus. Both vaccines completed animal toxicity studies after approval.

"Drug Controller General of India has permitted these two vaccines to go in for phase one and two clinical trials. Trials yet to begin," informed health ministry.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is certain that India will hold an important role in developing and scaling up production of novel coronavirus vaccine once it is discovered.

"Today also our companies are active in international efforts for development and production of Covid-19 vaccine," Modi said.

The prime minister was speaking at the India Global Week 2020's inaugural session Wednesday, a three-day virtual conference organised in UK.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 in India reached 7,67,296. In the last 24 hours, 24,879 new cases were added to the total tally. Out of the total number of cases, 2,69,789 are still active. The death toll has also increased to 21,129. A total of 487 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours.

The recoveries, however, have also increased to 4,76,378. The total recovery rate of the nation now stands at 62%. According to data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 2,67,061 tests were conducted on Wednesday.

The ministry in the press briefing said Covid-19 recovered cases are 1.75 times that of active cases so far.

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