Case Fatality Rate reduced, recovery rate improved: Health Minister

Health Ministry: We never mentioned we'd vaccinate entire population

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of COVID-19 has come down in the country.

During the 15th meeting of the high level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 held here, the minister said “The Case Fatality Rate (CFR) has come down from 3.2 per cent in the pre-lockdown period to 2.1 per cent during the last week.”

Reading the COVID situation globally and in the country, the minister said, “total number of COVID-19 positive cases worldwide stand at 42,48,389 with 2,94,046 deaths and the fatality rate pegged at 6.92 per cent, whereas in India, the total number of COVID-19 positive cases stand at 81,970 with 2,649 deaths and the fatality rate pegged at 3.23 per cent. So far, a total of 27,920 people have been cured.

“And if seen in the last 24 hours, 1,685 patients were found cured. This takes the total recovery rate at 34.06 per cent. It was also highlighted that the impact of lockdown was seen on the Doubling Rate which improved from 3.4 days in the pre-lockdown week to 12.9 days in the last week.”

The Group of Ministers (GoM) had in depth deliberation on containment strategy and management aspects of COVID-19, as well as the measures being taken by the Centre and various states. The GoM was informed by the officials that there are 30 municipal areas which constitute 79 per cent of India’s case load.

GoM discussed that the focus of COVID-19 management strategy needs to be on the states with the highest number of confirmed cases and highest number of fatalities, and on treatment and case fatality management, for which timely detection of infection and contact tracing were the best way forward. They also discussed the challenges before various states/UTs arising from the returning migrant labourers and the returnees from abroad.

The minister told the GoM that a total of 8,694 facilities comprising of 919 dedicated COVID hospitals, 2,036 COVID Health Centres and 5,739 COVID Care Centres with a total of 2,77,429 beds for severe and critical cases, 29,701 ICU beds and 5,15,250 isolation beds in care centres, are available. Also, as on date, 18,855 ventilators are now available to combat COVID-19 in the country. The Centre has also provided 84.22 lakh N95 masks and 47.98 lakh Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) to the states, UTs and Central institutions.

He said that the domestic manufacturers have the capacity to produce nearly 3 lakh PPEs and N-95 masks each, per day. Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of ICMR informed about COBAS 6800, a fully automated, high end machine, installed at the NCDC for performing real time PCR testing COVID-19 to perform 1,200 samples in 24 hours.

The GoM attendees included Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, MoS Home Nityananda Rai and others.