Fewer than eight people per lakh of population in India have been infected by the novel coronavirus, the Union Health Ministry said Wednesday evening, pointing out that this was significantly better than the global average of 62 people per lakh. The government also said India's per lakh mortality rate was only 0.24, compared to the global average of 4.2.
Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal also said it was "satisfactory to note that 42,298 people have recovered" from the illness so far and that the recovery rate (recoveries as a percentage of total cases) had improved steadily through the four phases of lockdown - from 7.1 per cent in March (when it was imposed) - to 39.62 per cent today.
"If the total population of the world is taken into account, then 62 people per lakh (of) population have been affected by COVID-19. In India, 7.9 people per lakh (of) population have been affected," Mr Agarwal said, adding, "Across the world 4.2 people per lakh (of) population have died due to COVID-19. In India it is 0.2 deaths per lakh (of) population".
According to data from the United States-based Johns Hopkins University, India has a per lakh mortality rate of 0.24, compared to 28.10 in the US, 53.27 in the United Kingdom and 53.23 per cent in Italy, placing it outside the top 10.
China's mortality rate is comparable to India's - 0.33 per cent.
According to Johns Hopkins University, mortality rate is one of the most important ways for countries to measure the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
This morning, Health Ministry data showed India recorded the biggest single-day surge in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases - 5,611 were detected over a 24-hour period.
Overall the number of coronavirus cases has risen to 1,06,750 with 3,303 deaths linked to the virus; 140 were reported over a 24-hour period, per government data this morning. 42,298 have been discharged after receiving treatment, leaving 61,149 active cases.
Maharashtra (37,136 cases, 1,325 deaths), Tamil Nadu (12,448 cases, 84 deaths) and Gujarat (12,140 cases, 719 deaths) remain the three worst-affected states.
India remains under a strict lockdown that has been extended to May 31.
Under the terms of the lockdown, states and union territories have been allowed to autonomy to designate "red", "orange" and "green" zones, thereby allowing them greater freedom in deciding what activities will and will not be permitted in their respective areas.
As part of its phased exit strategy, the government, on Wednesday evening, announced that domestic flights would resume from Monday in a "calibrated manner". Domestic and international flights had been stopped in March, after the country was locked down.