All states and Union Territories (UTs) have been asked to focus on reducing the Covid-19 mortality rate, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said on Saturday.
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan gave the direction during the two high-level virtual meetings, conducted on Friday and Saturday as part of the Centre’s continuous process of review and hand-holding for collaborative management of the Covid-19 pandemic which so far has claimed 42,518 lives across the country.
He especially engaged with the states reporting a high case load and higher Case Fatality Rate (CFR) than the national average, in order to advise and support them on efforts to prevent and reduce mortality due to Covid-19.
India’s current Covid-19 mortality rate stands at 2.04 per cent.
On Saturday, the meeting focused on 13 districts in eight states and UTs – Kamrup Metro in Assam, Patna in Bihar, Ranchi in Jharkhand, Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, Ganjam in Odisha, Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, 24 Parganas North, Hooghly, Howrah, Kolkata, and Malda in West Bengal, and Delhi.
These districts account for nearly nine per cent of India’s active cases and about 14 per cent of Covid deaths. They also report low tests per million and a high confirmation percentage.
The states were advised to address the issues of low lab utilisation that is less than 100 tests per day for RT-PCR and 10 for others; low tests per million population; decrease in absolute tests from last week; delay in test results; and high confirmation percentage among the health care workers.
They were asked to ensure timely referral and hospitalisation in view of reports from some districts of patients dying within 48 hours of admission.
On Friday, the focus was on 16 districts in four states – Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat; Belagavi, Bengaluru Urban, Kalaburagi, and Udupi in Karnataka; Chennai, Kanchipuram, Ranipet, Theni, Thiruvallur, Tiruchirappalli, Tuticorin, and Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu; and Hyderabad and Medchal Malkajgiri in Telangana.
Apart from the higher case mortality, these districts account for 17 per cent of India’s active cases, high daily new cases, low tests per million, and high confirmation percentage.
They were accordingly were advised to ensure that the advisories, guidelines and clinical treatment protocols issued by the Health Ministry are adopted and effectively implemented to reduce the mortality among Covid-19 patients and other preventable deaths among all sections of the people.
With focused efforts to reduce mortalities due to Covid-19, India has registered one of the lowest deaths per million at 30 as compared to the global average of 91 deaths per million.
Coordinated, graded and pro-active management of Covid-19 by the Union and state or UT governments has ensured the national CFR on the slide, the Ministry said.
There has been a sharp increase in recoveries. With 48,900 patients discharged in the last 24 hours, India’s total recoveries have reached 14,27,005. The recovery rate, on a steady upward rise, stands at 68.32 per cent.
The active cases, which are the actual case load for India, were at 6,19,088 on Saturday, accounting for 29.64 per cent of total positive cases.
An expanded diagnostic lab network and facilitation for easy testing across the country has resulted in India testing a total of 2,33,87,171 samples for Covid-19 infection. A total of 5,98,778 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.
The rate of tests per million has seen a sharp increase to 16,947 on Saturday, the Ministry said, adding with 936 labs in the government sector and 460 private labs, India has 1,396 labs for Covid-19 testing.