Coronavirus Cases Over 7 Lakh, Government Says India Still Better Off

India, which is third on the list of nations worst hit by the pandemic, has a total of 7.67 cases. The last 24 hours saw the biggest single-day surge, with 24,879 new infections being reported, data from the Health Ministry showed.

The health ministry said despite a population of 1.3 billion, India managed the virus "relatively well".

New Delhi:

India still has among the lowest incidences of coronavirus if the rate of infection per million is calculated, the government said today, pointing to data from the World Health Organisation.  The country -- which is third on the list of nations worst hit by the pandemic -- has a total of 7.67 cases. The last 24 hours saw the biggest single-day surge, with 24,879 new infections being reported, data from the Health Ministry showed.

"We are the 2nd-most populated in the world. Whenever we talk of the number of active cases, total cases and death count, we should keep the population in mind," a health ministry official told the media this evening.

Despite a population of 1.3 billion, India has been able to manage the virus "relatively well", he said.

"If you look at cases per million population, we are the lowest. Right now, the country has 538 cases per million, according to the World Health Organisation. Cases per million population in other countries are at least 15-16 times of that," he added.

When it comes to fatalities, the other countries have reported 40 times as many cases as India, he said.

The country now needs to focus on the high-risk group, he said, revealing that 39 per cent of coronavirus-related deaths are taking place among 8 per cent of the population, who are between the age of 60 and 74 years. 14 per cent of the deaths are taking place among people over the age of 75, 15 per cent fatalities are happening among the 15 to 44-year age group.

The Indian Council of Medical Research, the nodal organization in the battle against coronavirus, said they were ramping up its testing capacity.

"The ICMR has approved a new test which is being used in the containment zones and hospitals. All NABL hospitals and labs have been approved to conduct antigen-based tests. This is helping us identify early stages and reduce burden on healthcare system," said the ICMR representative, who attended the media briefing.