Covid-19 latest figures: Govt offers 4 reasons to show India is better placed, has data to back up claim
The government said early detection through effective surveillance had played a big role in the successful medical management of coronavirus cases in IndiaUpdated: May 20, 2020 19:12 IST
The central government on Wednesday presented statistics comparing India with 15 other worst coronavirus affected countries to highlight how the country had fared better on several key indices like the ratio of positive cases to the total population and similarly, the ratio of Covid-19 deaths to the combined population of these countries.
According to data presented by a health ministry official, the combined population of 15 worst affected countries, including USA, Russia, Spain, Brazil, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Turkey, Iran, Peru, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Belgium and Mexico was around 142.6 crore and these countries together accounted for 36.45 lakh positive cases, while India, with an estimated 137 crore citizens had a comparable population to this amalgamation, but had registered only a little over one lakh cases as on May 19.
A further look at the data showed that these countries had a combined death toll of 2.73 lakh as against 3,303 casualties due to coronavirus in India.
“These combined population of these countries is similar to that of India’s, yet they have recorded 34 times more cases and 83 times more deaths than India,” said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, health ministry.
“This statistic is not about a satisfactory situation for India. How we medically manage a positive case, how we are able to save a patient’s life and focus on good health care decides if we are doing a satisfactory job,” added Agarwal.
Agarwal said that in another relatively-positive news, the recovery rate of coronavirus patients in the country, which stood at 7.1% at the beginning of the lockdown on March 25, increased to 11.42% at the beginning of the second phase of the lockdown and further to 26.59 % before reaching 39.62% as of May 19.
Agarwal said that India had around 61,000 cases of Coved-19 under active treatment and only 2.94% of these were on oxygen support, 3% on ICU support and 0.4% on ventilator support.
“This data is very important to us since it shows that because of our focus on early detection and surveillance leading to timely identification of cases, a very few percentages of infected patients need serious hospital management,” Agarwal said.
Giving an update on the scaling up of the health infrastructure in the view of the pandemic, Agarwal said India currently had 1.5 lakh hospital beds available for treating coronavirus patients. He said that this capacity was built over the last two months during the lockdown. He added that the country’s focus should be on preventive action as long as a vaccine to prevent the spread of the disease is found.