Ultimate Aim To Bring Down COVID Positivity Rate To 5%, Says Government

According to the government, 30 states and union territories already had lower positivity rates for the novel coronavirus than the national average of 8 per cent

Over 37,000 new cases were detected over the past 24 hours, the centre said this morning.

New Delhi:

The government's "ultimate aim" is to reduce COVID-19 positivity rates to 5 per cent and maintain aggressive testing levels, the Health Ministry said Tuesday, adding that 30 states and union territories already had lower figures than the national average.

The national positivity rate, which is the number of those infected as a percentage of those tested, was 11.14 per cent on Tuesday morning. This has increased from 10 per cent a week ago, 9.7 per cent two weeks ago and 8 per cent from four weeks ago.

The overall average, calculated since April 23, is 8 per cent.

Also on Tuesday morning, 3.34 lakh coronavirus tests were conducted over the past 24 hours. This has increased from 2.87 a week ago, 2.41 two weeks ago and 1.87 from four weeks ago.

As increased testing reveals more COVID-19 patients across the country, the daily addition to the national caseload has surged dramatically over the past week.

On Tuesday morning the government said 37,148 new cases had been detected over the past 24 hours; over 40,000 had been found in the 24 hours before that.

India has over 11.55 lakh COVID-19 cases so far, with 28,084 deaths linked to the virus. The total number of cases has risen by over 4.5 lakh from July 6, when India crossed the seven-lakh mark.

"The country has handled COVID crisis relatively well. The centre is supporting states. Central teams are advising the states and also visiting them to support their efforts," the government said today.

People were also warned not to let their guards down at this time. "Precautions must be taken and more energy has to be infused into our disease-control response," the government stressed.

The government said it was conducting 180 tests per million, compared to the 140 per million advised by the WHO (World Health Organisation).

During the briefing the government also said: "Despite limited resources we could bring case fatality (or mortality) rate to 2.43 per cent," the government said, adding that the credit went to doctors and healthcare workers.

The ministry said the number of deaths per million was among the world's lowest at 20.4 per million; the global average is 77.

The national mortality or case fatality rate - number of deaths as a percentage of total cases - is 2.43 per cent, the government said, praising front-line staff like doctors, nurses, and paramedical and sanitation workers for the low figure.

Case fatality rates have dropped over the past four weeks; it was 3.2 per cent then before decreasing to 2.8 per cent two weeks ago. Last week it was 2.6 per cent.

During the briefing the government also said said the recently conducted sero-prevalence study in Delhi had found that 23.48 per cent of residents had been affected by the virus. A sero-survey involves testing of blood serum of individuals to check for the prevalence of antibodies against an infection.

With input from PTI