New Delhi: No fresh COVID-19 case has been reported in 149 districts in a week, while eight have not registered any new infection in a fortnight, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday even as daily cases hit a record high of 1.31 lakh.
Chairing the 24th meeting of the High-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 through a video link, he said more than 9.43 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the country till Friday morning.
More than three crore vaccine jabs have been administered to senior citizens, the health minister said.
“India has also supported the global community through ”Vaccine Maitri”, under which 6.45 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been sent to 85 countries.
“While 3.58 crore doses have been supplied to 25 countries under commercial contracts, 1.04 crore doses have been sent to 44 nations as grants, and 1.82 crores to 39 countries under COVAX,” Vardhan was quoted as saying in a statement.
The Union health minister informed the meeting that there has been no fresh COVID-19 case in 149 districts in the last seven days. Eight districts have not reported any fresh case in the last 14 days, no new infection in three districts in the last 21 days and none in 63 districts in the last 28 days.
Giving details about the total number of tests conducted for the detection of COVID-19, he said, “Till now, we have conducted 25,71,98,105 tests of which 13,64,205 were done in the last 24 hours. India has 2,449 laboratories, of which 1,230 are government ones and 1,219 private.”
India has substantially ramped up its hospital infrastructure for COVID-19 management. There are 4,68,974 beds in 2,084 dedicated COVID hospitals of which 89 are run by the Centre and 1,995 by different states, Vardhan said.
Of the 4.68 lakh COVID beds, 2,63,573 are isolation beds, 50,408 ICU and 1,54,993 are oxygen-supported beds, the statement said, adding 4,043 dedicated COVID Health centres have been set up of which 85 are run by the Centre and 3,958 by states.
These COVID health centres have 3,57,096 beds, of which 2,31,462 are isolation beds, 25,459 are ICU and 1,00,175 are oxygen-supported beds.
Vardhan said with a renewed focus on collective efforts for effective adherence to the health ministry’s SOPs for COVID-19 containment and management, and by maintaining COVID-appropriate behaviour, India will overcome the recent surge in cases.
About the status of COVID-19 in the top 11 high-burden states, NCDC Director Sujeet Kumar Singh highlighted that as of April 8, India”s seven-day case growth rate, which is 12.93 per cent, is next only to the USA and Brazil.
Although the country was seeing an average growth rate of 5.37 per cent in the daily cases, the national case fatality ratio has declined to 1.28 per cent.
Singh also said stated that the national recovery rate has declined to 91.22 per cent in view of the surge.
It was also pointed out that 11 states contribute 54 per cent of the total cases and 65 per cent of the total deaths in the country. Disproportionately higher deaths in Maharashtra and Punjab have further increased during the last 14 days.
In the 11 states with a high COVID burden, a majority of the cases are reported among the 15 to 44 years age bracket and most of the deaths are among those above 60 years. A high test positivity rate is seen in Maharashtra where it is 25 per cent and in Chhattisgarh where it is 14 per cent.
NITI Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul explained the global approach underlying population prioritisation regarding vaccination. The same scientific and evidence-based approach has guided the Centre in its population age groups prioritization for COVID vaccination, he said.
Paul also detailed efforts to ramp up production of the existing vaccines and also about the potency and timeline of vaccines undergoing clinical trials.
The meeting was attended by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Mansukh Mandaviya, and Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey.