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Have made tremendous efforts in containing disease: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan tells GOM as India records 26 lakh COVID-19 recoveries

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New Delhi: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Saturday (August 29, 2020) attended the 20th meeting of Group of Ministers (GOM) on COVID-19 and said that they have made tremendous strides in containing the disease as India has so far recorded 26 lakh coronavirus recoveries.

At the outset, Dr Harsh Vardhan expressed satisfaction at the various coordinated efforts of the Centre and those of the States/UTs. 

He stated that in the month since the last meeting of GoM on July 31, the country’s COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate is at its lowest 1.81% and consecutively Recovery Rate has increased to 76.47%.

The remarks came after India recorded 65,050 coronavirus recoveries in the last 24 hours that took the total number of recoveries to 26,48,998.

Dr Harsh Vardhan further informed the GOM that with the creation of sufficient health facilities, the health infrastructure in the country has been amply strengthened. 

Notably, only 0.29% of cases are on ventilators, 1.93% on ICU and only 2.88% of cases are on oxygen and a total of 1576 labs at present have led to an upsurge in testing and the goal of 10 lakhs tests per day has been fulfilled. 

More than 9 lakh samples were tested in the last 24 hours and this has led to the cumulative total number of tests crossing the 4 crore mark,” he added. 

The Union Health Minister also stated that more than 338 lakhs of N-95 masks, nearly 135 lakh of PPEs and about 27,000 ventilators have been provided by the centre to the States/UTs.

The Union Health Minister instructed the Health Ministry to develop SOPs for the Members of Parliament and the Legislative Assembly sessions comprising COVID protocols and preventive measures. The GOM also expressed concern about the forthcoming festival seasons and advised everyone to adopt safe and COVID appropriate behaviour.

The GoM was briefed on the current status of COVID-19 in India. The global comparison clearly depicted that India has one of the lowest cases per million (2424) and deaths per million (44) compared to the global average of 3161 and 107.2 respectively. 

Across India, eight States namely Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana contribute to around 73% of the active caseload, as of Saturday. 

Moreover, seven States namely Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal account for 81% of total deaths. 

The GoM was also briefed on the guidance note issued on the bi-directional TB and COVID screening, diabetes management in COVID facilities.

Dr Harsh Vardhan was joined by Dr S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, Hardeep S Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation, Mansukh Lal Mandaviya, Minister of State, Shipping (Independent Charge), Chemicals and Fertilizers, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Health & Family Welfare and Nityanand Rai, Minister of State, Home Affairs and Dr Vinod Paul, Member (Health) Niti Aayog. 

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases across India crossed 34-lakh mark on Saturday with 76,472 new infections in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Union Health Ministry.

The death toll also increased to 62,550 with 1,021 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total number of COVID-19 cases stands at 34,63,972, of which, 7,52,424 are active cases.

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