This has been achieved with proactive testing, with more than 19.5 crore tests being conducted so far

India has been able to flatten the Covid-19 curve with its whole of government and whole of society approach, said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday.

He was chairing the 23rd meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted for the management of COVID that has been operational now for nearly a year.

“The first case was reported on 30th January last year, and the first meeting of the GOM constituted for COVID-19 met on 3rd February 2020. With the ‘Whole of Government’ and ‘Whole-of-society’ approach envisaged by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, India has successfully contained the pandemic. Less than 12,000 cases were reported in the last 24 hours and the Active Caseload has reduced to just 1.73 lakhs,” Vardhan said.

Detailing the achievements, he continued, “146 districts have no new cases since the last 7 days, 18 districts since the last 14 days, 6 districts since 21 days, and 21 districts since the last 28 days. This has been achieved with pro-active testing of which more than 19.5 crores have been conducted so far. The current testing capacity rests at 12 lakhs per day.”

He added that out of the total active cases, a meager 0.46 percent are on ventilators, 2.20 percent are in ICU and just 3.02 percent are on oxygen support. Vardhan stated that 165 cases of UK Variant have been reported so far. They are kept under supervised quarantine and surveillance.

Further, the Health Minister mentioned that India has supported other countries with the supply of the COVID19 vaccine during such a global public health crisis, and trained the personnel of several countries in vaccine administration.

“By being a “Mitra” to the global community, India has earned global trust by supplying indigenously made vaccines at this crucial hour”, he said.

During the meeting, the Director of the National Center for Disease Control Sujeet K Singh presented a detailed report on the current and future scenario of COVID-19 in India drawing a comparison with the trajectory of the confirmed cases and growth rates of COVID-19 in other countries of the world.

India has reported a 7 Day Growth Rate of 0.90 percent, the lowest amongst the world, he stated.

He presented a granular analysis of the trajectory of the pandemic in India pointing out critical parameters like day-wise confirmed new cases with growth rate percentage, recovery rate, case positivity rate, the trend of active cases, the concentration of cases in particular districts, and other trends like a fatality, and spread of new UK variant cases across different states in India. India’s Case Fatality Ratio is showing a declining trend from 3.4 percent in mid-June 2020 to the current rate of 1.4 percent due to effective clinical management.

He also informed that Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu has the highest recovery rate of 99.79% followed by Arunachal Pradesh (99.58%) and Odisha (99.07%) while Kerala has a recovery rate of 91.61% because of its present high active caseload.

Singh informed that Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Kottayam, and Kozhikode remain the top 5 districts reporting the highest number of active cases currently. Maharashtra and Kerala are contributing 70 percent of the active caseload of the country at the moment.

He advised caution in the coming months based on the nature of transmission being witnessed in other countries and because of the mutant strain of the virus being reported throughout the world.

Through a detailed presentation, Member of NITI Aayog, Vinod K Paul, and Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan apprised the GoM of the progress of development of vaccines in the country and the Vaccination Drive launched on January 16.

The Health Secretary showcased the logistics of the vaccination exercise and the gains made so far; 112.4 lakh doses of vaccines were distributed to States/UTs within 3 days (from 12th to 14th Jan 2021) before the start of the exercise; another additional 115.6 lakh doses to States/UTs were completed on Jan 20; 69,000 Programme Managers, 2.5 lakh vaccinators, and 4.4 lakh other team members are trained so far; 93,76,030 health care workers and 53,94,098 frontline workers are now registered on the Co-WIN portal.

He also updated on the communication strategies employed in coordination with the States and UTs to counter misinformation and rumor-mongering.

Paul informed that India currently stands 6th in providing Vaccination coverage and will soon move to 3rd place in the next few days.

The GoM discussed issues regarding balancing domestic requirements vis-à-vis requests from other countries for Indian vaccines. The Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals, S Aparna apprised the GoM on the actions taken in this regard.