India's Covid-19 tally surges to 2.32 million, recovery rate over 70%

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With more than 60,000 cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and over 834 deaths in the last 24 hours, India’s tally went beyond 2.32 million, according to the Union health ministry on Wednesday morning.

According to the health ministry’s Covid-19 dashboard, there were 60,963 cases and 834 deaths between Tuesday and Wednesday morning which took the number of infections to 2,329,638, the third highest number of cases after the United States and Brazil. There have been 633,650 cases in the 12 days and at least 58,000 cases on an average over the past week every day -- the highest in the world. The death toll stands at 46,091.

India’s rate of recovery has improved to 70.37% as 1,639,599 people, 56,110 in the last 24 hours, have been discharged from hospitals so far. There are 643,948 active cases, according to the health ministry. The gap between the active and recovered cases is now 995,651. “The TEST, TRACK, TREAT strategy showing desired result- early identification and prompt isolation/hospitalisation aiding exponential growth in recoveries,” the ministry tweeted on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urge the chief ministers of the 10 hardest-hit states in the country to focus on containment and surveillance, tracking and testing of close contacts of any infected person within 72 hours, and ramping up testing which he said would help track, contain and mitigate the outbreak in India.

The meeting was attended by chief ministers of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu – some of the most populous states of the country – and four others that together account for 80% of the active Covid-19 cases and 82% of fatalities due to the viral disease.

HT’s dashboard of Covid-19 statistics showed that Bihar, at 9,180 tests per million, has the lowest testing rate in the country. The per million testing in Gujarat was 14,973, UP 14,266, West Bengal 11,683 and Telangana 16,788 -- all under the national average of 18,968 tests per million.

The National Expert Group on vaccine administration will meet on Wednesday to decide on logistics, procurement and administration of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine, as and when it is ready. The committee is likely to engage with all stakeholders, including state governments and vaccine manufacturers, on the issue in Wednesday’s meeting.

Among the 24 vaccine candidates currently under various stages of clinical trials, three are at advances stages of phase three trials in the US, UK and China.

Globally, there have been more than 20.28 infections and 741,126 people have succumbed to the viral disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker.

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