Only 6% cases need hospitalisation, over 40,000 have recovered: Govt
Just about 6.39% of active coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in India need hospitalisation, according to the latest government data that indicates the outbreak has not been as severe in the country as in certain other countries. Only 0.45% of Covid-19 patients in India need ventilator support currently, compared to the estimated 2-3% globally.
Intensive care treatment was being provided to about 3% cases as of Wednesday.
Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, Union ministry of health, said the recovery rate of patients has also improved from the earlier 7.1% in late March when the lockdown to check the pandemic spread was imposed to the current 39.62%. “It is a positive sign to see that more than 40,000 positive cases have recovered, and those needing hospitalisation are much less than global figures,” said Agarwal at a briefing on Wednesday.
Agarwal said 15 worst-hit countries with over 1.4 billion population have reported 3.6 million cases. He added India has a population of 1.37 billion population but has reported just around 100,000 cases so far.
“[The] 15 countries have reported at least 34 times more cases and 83 times more deaths as compared to India, which says a lot about measures taken by us to manage the situation. India’s focus has always been on taking preventive action,” said Agarwal.
India has only 7.9 cases per 100,000 population compared to 62.3 globally. The global average rate is 4.2 deaths per 100,000 population while in India, it is 0.2. The government has attributed this to timely case identification and clinical management.
India’s testing capacity has also been strengthened. Over 100,000 tests have been conducted daily since Monday. With 1,07,609 Covid-19 tests since Tuesday, their number has gone up to over 2.5 million in 555 labs.
“Of all the labs active for Covid testing in India, 391 are part of the Indian Council of Medical Research [ICMR] network and 164 are private... Of all the samples tested in a single day, 89,466 were tested in government labs and 18,143 in private laboratories,” said Dr RR Gangakhedkar, who heads ICMR’s epidemiology and communicable disease division. He confirmed the government was in the process of reviewing the use of hydroxychloroquine as prophylaxis and treatment modality for Covid-19.
Dr Jugal Kishore, who heads the community medicine department at Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi, said the Covid-19 lockdown was supposed to buy time, which it has managed to do.
“...and to consolidate the gains, people will now need to incorporate the behavioural changes for good such as avoiding mass gatherings, wearing masks, maintaining hygiene, following cough etiquettes, and staying at home if feeling sick,” he said.