Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare revealed some positive statistics regarding the ongoing pandemic in the country. The union minister claimed that there are more than 3 lakh recoveries in the last 24 hours. He also claimed that “180 districts have showed no fresh cases in the last 7 days, 18 districts in 14 days, 54 districts in 21 days and 32 districts were bereft of any fresh cases in the last 28 days.” The number of patients in ICU beds is 4,88,861 while 1,70,841 patients and 9,02,291 patients are on ventilator and oxygen support, he added. This translates to 1.34% of COVID caseload being in ICU, 0.39% of cases on ventilators and 3.70% of COVID patients on oxygen as of date.

The Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare chaired the 25th meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 through video conference.

Harsh Vardhan claimed that, the cumulative number of COVID19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 16.73 Cr today which includes nearly 23 lakh doses given on Friday. A total of 17,49,57,770 doses have been delivered to the states, out of which 16,65,49,583 doses have been consumed and 84,08,187 doses are still available with the states. He further added that a total of 53,25,000 doses are on the pipeline and will be supplied to the states soon.

Reiterating the importance of full protection through two COVID Vaccine doses, he again appealed to all citizens to get the second dose which boosts the immunity against COVID manifold. He requested the States to set aside 70% of the vaccines received through GoI channel for administration of the second dose.

On the tests being conducted in India, the Union Health Minister noted that the country has reached a testing capacity of 25,00,000 tests per day. He informed that a total of 30,60,18,044 tests have been conducted so far in India, which includes 18,08,344 tests in the last 24 hours. From just one lab at NIV Pune, the country is presently served by 2,514 labs.

Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) highlighted the COVID trajectory of India vis-a-vis that of other countries. He underscored the need and importance of significantly ramping up testing and hospital infrastructure in Tier-II/III cities in view of the surge in cases which has seen a shift to these regions/areas too.

States of Maharashtra (1.27%), Karnataka (3.05%), Kerala (2.35%), Uttar Pradesh (2.44%), Tamil Nadu (1.86%), Delhi (1.92%), Andhra Pradesh (1.90%), West Bengal (2.19%), Chhattisgarh (2.06%), Rajasthan (2.99%), Gujarat (2.40%), Madhya Pradesh (2.24%) were highlighted because of their high 7 day growth rate in cases.

The districts/metropolis of Bengaluru (Urban), Ganjam, Pune, Delhi, Nagpur, Mumbai, Ernakulam, Lucknow, Kozhikode (Calicut), Thane, Nashik, Malappuram, Thrissur, Jaipur, Gurgaon, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Chandrapur, Kolkata, Palakkad are the top 20 contributors of Active Cases in the country.Emphasis on timely provision of clinical care in high transmission areas to reduce morbidity and mortality, advance preparedness in anticipation of rise in cases, increase in testing using RAT and tracing of those who might have contracted the infection, emphasis on clinic-epidemiological linkage of genomic surveillance with transmission dynamics, clinical severity and age profile of new cases were highlighted as important steps ahead.

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