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India conducts a million COVID-19 tests for second straight day

India conducted one million tests for Covid-19 in a single day for the second consecutive day for the first time with 1.01 million tests being done till Tuesday midnight, data from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) shows.

With the increase in the number of tests, the number of cases is also on the rise with India recording 78,622 cases on Tuesday, according to HT dashboard data.

“If you plot the number of tests that are done and the number of cases reported, it is almost the same. The more you test, the higher number of cases you will detect. India is a densely populated country and just the sheer number of our population means that we will record a high number of cases,” said Amit Singh, associate professor at Centre for Infectious Disease at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Data released by the Union health ministry on Wednesday shows over half of all the deaths due to Covid-19 in India were people above the age of 60 years, even as they accounted for only 12% of the total cases.

The number of deaths was disproportionately high among those between the ages of 45 and 60 years as well. Even as the age group accounted for only 26% of all the cases, they accounted for 36% of the country’s total death toll.

The highest number of infections – 40% of the total cases – was reported among those in the age group of 26 to 44 years. This age group, however, accounted for only 11% of the total deaths.

Deaths were also low among children and young adults, with both age groups accounting for only 1% of the deaths each. Eight per cent of the total cases were recorded in those below the age of 17 years and 14% among those between the ages of 18 to 25, the data released by the health ministry shows.

India recorded over 1,000 deaths in a day on Tuesday, according to HT dashboard data. A total of 1,028 deaths were reported taking the country’s total Covid-19 toll to 66,451. This puts India’s case fatality ratio – fraction of deaths among those who test positive — at 1.76%, much lower than the global average of 3.3%.

“Cases can only be controlled if people take the responsibility, if they follow safety measures such as donning a mask in public, maintaining social distancing, and practicing good hand hygiene. The government cannot ensure this,” said Singh. – Hindustan Times

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