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New Delhi: While tests for detection of Covid-19 have increased exponentially, there has been steady decline in country's positivity rate, said Health Ministry during a press briefing on Tuesday.

"Recovered Covid-19 cases are 3.4 times the number of active cases in the country," said a ministry official.

For the first time, country's active cases of Covid-19 have reduced by 6,423 within a span of 24 hours, said Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Union Health Ministry. Active cases are only 22.2% of the total cases. The recovery rate is now more than 75%, he said.

2.7% of active cases of coronavirus infection are on oxygen support, 1.92% in ICU and 0.29% on ventilators.

"Covid-19 testing improved from 363 tests per million per day on August 1 to more than 600 tests per million per day at present. On basis of 7-day rolling average, Covid-19 positivity rate was 11% in first week of August, has come down to 8% today," said Bhushan.

The second national sero-survey should be completed in the first week September, said ICMR Director General Prof Balram Bhargava.

Bhushan also touched upon the Covid-19 vaccine developed in Russia.

"As far as Sputnik-5 vaccine is concerned, India and Russia are in communication. Some initial information has been shared," he said.

Bhargava said there's no need to be alarmed about the IT professional in Hong Kong who turned out to be first case of coronavirus reinfection.

"We have read report on re-infection of one case in Hong Kong. It can depend on several factors. It could be related to the patient's immune status, whether the virus has mutated. We need to closely follow it up, but at the same time we don't need to be alarmed," he said.

"Irresponsible, less cautious people who are not wearing masks are driving the pandemic in India," he further said.

India in the last 24 hours reported 60,975 COVID-19 cases, taking its overall coronavirus tally 31,67,324, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday.

The total cases include 7,04,348 active cases and 24,04,585 patients cured/discharged/migrated.

India in the last 24 hours has reported 848 deaths in the last 24 hours due to COVID-19 taking the overall toll to 58,390 deaths.

As per the data provided by the ministry, Maharashtra -- the worst affected state from the infection -- has a total of 1,68,443 active cases and 22,465 fatalities. While Tamil Nadu has a total of 53,282 active cases and 6,614 fatalities in the state due to the coronavirus.

Andhra Pradesh has a total of 89,516 active cases and 3,368 deaths. Karnataka has a total of 81,230 active cases and 4,810 deaths. Delhi has reported 11,626 active cases and 4,313 deaths due to COVID-19.

The total number of samples tested up to 24th August is 3,68,27,520 including 9,25,383 samples that were tested yesterday, as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) update on Tuesday.

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