Script: AURANGZEB NAQSHBANDI, Senior Journalist
Despite a massive surge in the number of Covid-19 cases, India’s recovery rate stands at over 82 per cent with more than 3,00,000 recoveries being reported in the past few days. According to the Union Health Ministry, the country’s total recoveries stand at over 17 million.
Ten Indian states such as Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Bihar account for over 70 per cent of the new recoveries. The national mortality rate has been falling and currently stands at 1.09 per cent which is continuously declining, the Health Ministry has stated.
Maharashtra, which had been reporting over 60,000 new coronavirus cases every day through much of last month, logged 50,000 fresh ones in the past 24 hours. The number of recoveries surpassed the case figure – more than 65,000 patients were discharged in 24 hours. Mumbai logged less than 2,500 new infections, registering its lowest one-day spike in over five weeks. Cases in the national capital Delhi have also seen a decline since April 15.
This clearly indicates early signs of plateauing of daily positive Covid cases. India is seeing a positive trend in recoveries as well. On May 2, the recovery rate was at 78 per cent and on May 3 it climbed up to almost 82 per cent. “These are early gains, on which we have to work regularly,” the Health Ministry pointed out.
The Health Ministry said the challenge to curb active cases still continues and stressed the need to follow proper Covid protocol. “However, these are very early signals and it is, too, early to analyse the situation. It is important to have continued efforts of containment at district and state levels so that we can preserve these gains and reduce cases further,” added the Ministry. One of the reasons, cited by experts, is the aggressive vaccination drive being carried out across the country.
At least 1.5 million vaccine doses were administered in the country in the past 24 hours. Over 160 million shots have been administered since the inoculation drive began in January. The central government has so far provided nearly 165.4 million free vaccine doses to states and union territories.
The government began its phase three vaccination drive for those between 18 years and 44 years on May 1. While the first phase covered healthcare and frontline workers, the second included citizens whose age is above 45 years. As part of its ongoing efforts, the central government has also exempted basic customs duty and health cess on imports of Covid-19 related relief material for a limited period.
Over 40 countries, including the United States, Russia, France and Germany have committed to providing urgently needed items and Indian and foreign corporations are helping with procurements. Indian community associations in many countries too are pitching in to provide relief materials.
India expects to receive more than 500 oxygen generating plants, over 4,000 oxygen concentrators and 10,000 oxygen cylinders besides 17 cryogenic oxygen tankers.
Bio-pharmaceutical major Gilead Sciences has offered 450,000 doses of the antiviral medication Remdesivir while India expects to get some 300,000 doses of Favipiravir from Russia and the United Arab Emirates and consignments of Tocilizumab from Germany and Switzerland.
Many countries are also responding to the situation in India because New Delhi played a proactive role in providing essential pharmaceutical products and even vaccines in the earlier phases of the pandemic.
US President Joe Biden and other world leaders have said they would help India because it had provided help to them over the past year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The two leaders discussed the prevailing Covid-19 situation in India and the EU, and the steps being taken to contain the second wave of coronavirus.
Healthcare and frontline workers are giving their best efforts to tackle the influx of patients. The second wave of the pandemic is being fought resolutely by India and the wave is expected to hit plateau soon.