India has world's highest number of COVID-19 recoveries: Health Ministry
India has the highest number of recovered cases of COVID-19 in the world, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday. India has reported a total of 51 lakh recoveries. Notably, India has the world's second-highest number of infections (61,45,292), after the United States. The death toll is 96,318, which, according to the Health Ministry, is among the world's lowest per million population.
India has among world's lowest cases per million population: Government
Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that India has reported 4,453 cases per million population, among the world's lowest, and 425 new cases per million population in the past seven days. India reported 70 deaths per million population, also among the world's lowest, Bhushan said. He said there has also been a rise in the COVID-19 recovery rate, which now stands at 83%.
7.3 crore samples tested in India so far
Thus far, 7.3 crore samples have been tested for COVID-19 in India, Bhushan said, with 11.12 lakh average daily tests conducted in the past week (September 23-29). In September alone, 2.97 crore tests were conducted, up from 2.39 crore the month before.
Infections dip in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, etc.
Bhushan noted that in the past few weeks, a dip in fresh infections has been witnessed in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. However, Kerala has seen a rise. He said "no clear trend" has been observed in Odisha as average daily new cases continue to fluctuate. A similar situation has been observed in Assam, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana.
ICMR detailed findings of second national serosurvey
Meanwhile, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Balram Bhargava also detailed the findings of the second national serological survey conducted in India. The survey was conducted between August 17-September 22; 700 villages/wards from 70 districts in 21 states were covered during the first such survey. 29,082 individuals, aged over 10, were studied as part of the survey.
6.6% seroprevalence detected; highest in urban slums
The survey found a 6.6% seroprevalence. In urban-slum regions, 15.6% seroprevalence was observed, followed by urban non-slum areas (8.2%) and rural areas (4.4%). Age and gender have not been found to affect seroprevalence. Bhargava said the containment measures enforced by India have "effectively checked the potential spread of the virus." He also warned that a large portion of the population remains susceptible to infection.
'Need to ensure we celebrate, mask wali Diwali, Chhath, Eid'
Further, NITI Aayog member Dr. VK Paul urged people to continue taking precautions in the coming months, saying, "We all need to ensure that we celebrate mask wali Chhath, mask wali Diwali, mask wala Dussehra, mask wali Eid in order to curb the spread of COVID-19." He also warned about a second wave of the outbreak in the future.