Mumbai: India has conducted more than 11 Crore COVID tests, through more than 2000 laboratories across the country. With a cumulative positivity rate of 7.4%, and a recovery rate of around 92%, the total number of COVID Recovered cases has crossed 76 lakhs which is the highest in the world. Active COVID-19 cases are now below 5.5 lakhs, which is only 6.8% of the total historical number of COVID cases reported so far. This has been stated by Shri Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in course of a media briefing on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on COVID-19, held at National Media Centre, New Delhi today.
Shri Bhushan further informed that the weekly and daily positivity rate as well as average daily new deaths and new cases have been declining. India’s number of cases per million population as well as deaths per million population continue to be the lowest in the world. On a positive note, the Health Secretary said that states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have been showing steady decline in number of active cases. However, Manipur, Kerala, Delhi and West Bengal have been showing an increasing trend in the number of active COVID cases when compared to the month of October.
While talking about the steps taken by the government in providing training facilities to frontline workers, he said that, “an Integrated Government Online Training (iGOT)’ platform was created by the government during the Pandemic. It is an online cloud-based capacity building platform of Department of Personnel and Training which delivers appropriate training material online simultaneously to unlimited number of learners, at the time and place of their choice.”
He also mentioned that the platform had more than 13.60 lakh unique users which include doctors, nurses, allied & healthcare professional, NCC cadets, NSS volunteers and frontline workers. More than 19 lakh digital courses have been completed and certificates issued to more than 15 lakh trainees after assessment. “The top 50 districts with highest course completions are from the states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra, Kerala, West Bengal and Chandigarh”, he added.
The training modules have both training videos as well as documents uploaded on iGOT portal. These include videos for basics of COVID, Clinical Management including Intensive Care, Isolation Facility, Frontline Workers, Infection Prevention & Control, Psycho – Social care etc.
Shri Bhushan insisted to continue with the strategy ‘Test – Track – Trace & Treat’ proactively in order to protect and preserve what the country has achieved so far. “Let us keep our focus on this strategy even if our numbers are coming down,” he said.
Member, Health, NITI Aayog, Dr. V.K. Paul, pointed out the surge in European countries and remarked that “even if the positivity rate is only 10-12 %, we should not take it for granted. We are susceptible to infection and hence everyone should always follow COVID Appropriate Behaviours.”
He also said that we can break the chain of transmission by adopting strict testing strategy. “Even if there is a mild symptom, test immediately. There is no need to fear. If we miss one positive case, it will adversely affect people in thousands,” he added
He said that in order to control the future surge during festivals, it is very essential to follow COVID Appropriate Behavior. He appealed to the public, “let’s have maskwali Diwali, maskwali Christmas and maskwali Eid. Mask is the ultimate Kawach. Every nation is talking about the COVID Appropriate behaviours that have become universal now. Winters can also increase the spread. It is in our hands to control and stop a new peak.”
DG, ICMR, Prof. (Dr.) Balaram Bhargava said that “Following COVID Appropriate Behaviour is the most cost-effective preventive treatment for this disease. There are evidences that mask is very effective and nearly as good as a vaccine.” He also said that, “mask should be worn while doing exercise as well, it does not alter the blood oxygen level.”