The measures imposed on hotspots or areas of high localised transmission are key elements of the government strategy to snap the chain of transmission of the highly infectious
coronavirus. Officials said though the measures were working, laxity could turn the clock back.
“We have seen an average
growth factor of 1.2 since April 1. Between March 15 and March 31, the growth factor was 2.1. This means there is a 40% decline in average growth factor of Covid-19,” said
Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the health ministry.
The rate of recovery is also rising, indicating that more patients are winning the battle against the disease, while the fatality rate remains low. As on Thursday, Kerala recorded the maximum recoveries (245), followed by Telangana (186) and Tamil Nadu (180).
Maharashtra and Rajasthan recorded 164 recoveries each. Delhi’s recovery rate has been low. Only 51 (3%) out of 1,640 Covid-19 positive patients had recovered as on Thursday, though the big increase in its cases — due to the
Tablighi Jamaat outbreak — came to light in the third week of March.
Two southern states appeared on course to flatten the Covid-19 curve with fresh daily cases in Kerala dropping to single-digit in the past one week and the number of people discharged from hospitals in Tamil Nadu exceeding admissions.
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Kerala has reported just 32 new cases from April 11 to 17 while 129 patients have recovered from the infection during this period. The total number of cases reported so far is 395. However, not too long ago, health officials were fearing that by mid-April this number would be 500.
“Recovery is slower in Covid-19 patients who have other co-morbidities such as diabetes or pre-existing health issues. Also, sometimes even when the person had tested negative for the virus, repeat testing has to be done to reaffirm the findings before discharging her/him,” said a senior doctor.
As on Thursday, the recovery rate was 10.6%, or 1,437, out of 13,541 cases. It was 13.06% on Friday. The decline in growth rate assumes significance because the government has gradually expanded testing, leading to more number of samples being tested since April 1, compared to earlier.
Agarwal added that 19 states and
Union Territories, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Bihar, Haryana and Ladakh, have recorded a doubling rate lower than the country’s average. “To reduce the doubling rate further, we need to be more vigilant,” he said.
Besides, the outcome ratio of Covid-19 — the ratio of recoveries and deaths — is 80:20. Agarwal said India’s outcome ratio was higher than several other countries. On Friday, the health ministry recorded 13,835 confirmed cases and 452 deaths. Of the total confirmed cases, 1,766 were cured and discharged. However, new cases continued to increase with more than 1,000 additions and 23 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. Active cases stood at 11,616.
On Friday, the 12th meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Covid-19 discussed the impact of the extended lockdown. “The GoM discussed the creation of new rapid and accurate diagnostics that may give results within 30 minutes; augmentation of the testing capacity through 30 labs; development of innovative pooling strategies to boost the number of people who can be tested and indigenous synthesis of critical components that are limiting domestic test kit production; and increase in viral sequencing, which can help in epidemiology and to identify potentially important mutations,” Agarwal said.
India has progressed in indigenous synthesis of multiple promising anti-viral molecules such as Umifenovir, Favipiravir. Phytopharmaceuticals, and leads from traditional medical systems were also being explored in parallel along with the ministry of AYUSH, the health ministry said.