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COVID-19 is here to stay and it will continue to cause outbreaks year-round until herd immunity is achieved. (AFP)
COVID-19 is here to stay and it will continue to cause outbreaks year-round until herd immunity is achieved. (AFP)

Only 4 states in India have more than 50,000 active Covid-19 cases: Govt

  • Toll due to covid-19 in India touched 81,331 on Tuesday
  • There are 18 states having 5,000 to 50,000 active cases, while 14 states and UTs have less than 5,000 active cases

NEW DELHI : Covid-19 cases in India neared 50 lakh-mark on Tuesday with the total tally reaching 49,42,345. According to Union Health Ministry, there are only four states--Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh– having more than 50,000 active cases. On the other hand, there are 18 states having 5,000 to 50,000 active cases, while 14 states and UTs have less than 5,000 active cases.

“Five states that account for 60% of the total active cases in the country are: Maharashtra (29.5%), Karnataka (9.9%), Andhra Pradesh (9.4%), Uttar Pradesh (6.8%) and Tamil Nadu (4.7%)," said Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The government has observed an increasing trend of cases in Maharashtra, while stabilization is observed over the last three weeks in Karnataka. Uttar Pradesh shows a rising trend, while stabilization over the last three weeks is also observed in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu shows initial signs of decline in the number of cases," said Bhushan.

Toll due to covid-19 in India touched 81,331 on Tuesday. The union health ministry also analysed the trend of daily average deaths in a week-on-week basis in the top five states. The analysis shows an increasing trend in Maharashtra, while it shows a certain stabilization in Karnataka. “A rising trend of deaths is also observed in Uttar Pradesh, while Andhra Pradesh is showing early signs of decline over the last three weeks and Tamil Nadu is showing signs of decline over the last four weeks," said Bhushan.

When the number of tests is studied in tandem with positivity rates of respective states, it is found that Maharashtra has a positivity rate of 21.5% and hence, requires to increase testing. The states having high positivity rates will have to further ramp up their testing and the states should aspire to keep their positivity rate below the national average (8.4%), stated the Health Secretary.

In this week, more than 38.59 lakh patients have recovered from covid-19 in India, which is one of the highest in the world. According to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, this is the highest number of recoveries in the world.

Assuring that there is no shortage of oxygen for handling critical covid-19 patients, the government said that roughly 6% of covid-19 patients nationally required oxygen support. Bhushan said that India has a capacity of manufacturing 6,900 Metric Tonnes oxygen on a daily basis, around 2,800 metric tonnes of oxygen are required for covid-19 and non-covid health use. And, around 2200 metric tonnes are used up for industrial purposes. Hence, at the national level there is no shortage of oxygen and today morning, there was a surplus of 1,900 metric tonnes of oxygen, Bhushan said.

India has been actively engaged in developing a covid-19 vaccine. “Cadila and Bharat Biotech's Phase 2 trials are under process, while Serum Institute is about to start its Phase 3 trials at 15 sites in the country," Dr Balram Bhargava, director general, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

Mentioning about the vaccine developed in Russia, the ICMR chief said, dialogues are going on between the High-Level Committee on Vaccines and the Russian diplomats about the mechanisms for conducting a Phase 3 trial in India.

India is also researching the efficacy of plasma therapy. “Randomised control trials conducted on 464 patients at 39 hospitals in 25 districts across 14 states/UTs has shown that it does not reduce mortality or prevent progression from moderate to severe disease. However, these findings are under peer-review," Bhargava said.

The National Task Force and Joint Monitoring Group of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will take a decision on continuity of plasma therapy once the full publication comes out after peer review of the findings, he said adding that there are a few cases where reactions can occur and that is why we will take a considered view once we get the full publication of this study.

The ICMR also said that national serological survey, which was done in April-May and is being repeated after three months, has been completed in 68 out of 70 districts. “After analysis of the results by this month end, the two studies can be compared. Sero-survey also brings out infection fatality rate, which was found to be between 0.5-0.6 in the last national sero-survey, which was much below that in many other countries," he said.

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