Patients who recovered from Covid-19 at the Government Medical College Omandurar in Chennai.  |  Photo Credit: PTI
- Doubling rate in 19 States, Union Territories are even lower than average doubling rate
- The government of India said that the ratio of recovered patients to deaths in India is higher than several other countries
- The government is now focused on speeding up the process to develop vaccines for the disease using a combination of various potential drugs
New Delhi: In what appears to be a relief to many Indians in these testing times of coronavirus lockdown, the central government on Friday said that the doubling rate of Covid-19 cases in the country has started showing a downward graph.
The doubling rate of pandemic has come down from 3 days pre-lockdown to 6.2 days in the past one week, especially in 19 states and Union Territories across the country, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told media persons in New Delhi.
“Before lockdown, doubling rate of Covid-19 cases was about 3 days, but according to data in the past 7 days, the doubling rate of cases now stands at 6.2 days. Doubling rate in 19 States, Union Territories are even lower than average doubling rate,” Lav Agarwal of the Health Ministry said on Friday.
The states where the doubling rate is comparatively lower are Kerala, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Ladakh, Puducherry, Delhi, Bihar, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Assam, Tripura, among others.
“We have been witnessing average growth factor at 1.2 since April 1, which stood at 2.1 (average) between March 15-31. Hence, there is 40 per cent decline in average growth factor even as we increased Covid-19 testing,” Agarwal said.
In yet another positive development, the government said that the ratio of recovered patients to deaths in India is higher than several other countries.
“The ratio between recovered Covid-19 patients and deaths stands at 80:20 in India, which is higher than that in several other counties,” the Health Ministry spokesperson said.
Agarwal further said that the government is now focused on speeding up the process to develop vaccines for the disease using a combination of various potential drugs.
“All our actions are now focused on speeding up vaccine development. We are working on recombinant BCG, convalescent plasma therapy, monoclonal antibodies to fight Covid-19… We need to also work on the development of effective drugs; there is no proven drug now. India’s traditional knowledge in boosting immunity is also being taken into account, as part of a multi-pronged effort. We are also working on viral sequencing and vaccine development. India is working with global partners so that effective vaccines can be developed. We are trying to speed up these processes,” he said.
The Health Ministry also said that the government is “aiming to indigenously make 10 lakh Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) kits by the month of May”.
Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research said that whatever vaccine comes out now will work in the future as well, even if the virus mutates going ahead.
“This virus has been in India for 3 months, the mutation doesn’t happen too quickly. Whatever vaccine comes out now, it will work in the future as well (if the virus mutates),” ICMR chief Dr. Gangakhedkar said.
When asked if BCG vaccine could counter the Covid-19 virus, he said, “ICMR will begin a study next week. Still, we don’t have definitive results from this…we won’t recommend it even for health workers.”