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Most COVID-19 cases in India are largely asymptomatic: Health Minister

Mortality due to COVID-19 is approximately 2% to 3% in India, with most cases being largely asymptomatic, said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, adding that this makes it important to create awareness about the higher risk of both morbidity and mortality faced by people with diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver and chronic liver diseases.

He was speaking on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day at an event organised by the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in collaboration with Airport Authority of India for creating awareness among Parliamentarians. The Minister said that the theme of this year’s conclave was ‘Keep your liver safe in COVID times’. “This is very apt and important, especially in these testing times,” Dr. Harsh Vardhan said.

Recovery rate rises

Meanwhile, for the fifth day in a row, India on Tuesday registered more than 30,000 recoveries among COVID-19 patients, according to a statement issued by the Union Health Ministry, which stressed that prioritising care for high-risk populations using field healthcare workers is leading to a decrease in COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate (CFR), which has dropped from 3.33% in mid-June to 2.25% currently. Also, the recovery rate has seen a sharp increase from around 53% in mid-June to more than 64% on Tuesday, said the Health Ministry in its release.

Maintaining aggressive testing as the first and most important step in the early detection and isolation of COVID-19 positive cases in India, the Health Ministry said that the country was now testing over 5 lakh samples per day.

Testing more

“On July 26th India tested a total of 5,15,000 samples while this number rose to a total of 5,28,000 samples the next day. The graded and evolving response resulted in a testing strategy that steadily widened the testing network in the country, and the cumulative testing as on date has crossed 1.73 crore. The Tests Per Million has further improved to 12,562,” said the Ministry.

It said that India’s testing capacity received another boost with the induction of three high throughput testing facilities in Noida (in the National Capital Region), Mumbai and Kolkata, which were inaugurated recently.

“The testing lab network in the country is continuously strengthened with 1,310 labs — 905 labs in the government sector and 405 private labs — and pursuant to ‘Test, Track, Treat’ strategy, India has created and maintained a new high of testing more than 5 lakh COVID-19 [cases] in a single day over two consecutive days. This is the outcome of the combined and focused efforts of Union and State/UT Governments,” noted the Ministry. – The Hindu