Coronavirus | 80% of asymptomatic, mild cases advised home isolation, says Health Ministry

Less than 1% coronavirus (COVID-19) patients are on the ventilators, less than 2% cases in ICUs, and less than 3% on oxygen beds said the Union Health Ministry on Friday, stating that the actual case load of COVID-19 patients in the country is 3.42 lakh, with recovered cases now at 6.35 lakh.

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“Almost 80% of the asymptomatic and mild cases have been advised home isolation under medical supervision. Moderate and severe patients are being treated in either the Dedicated COVID Hospitals or Dedicated COVID Health Centres. India has seen a steady increase in the number of patients recovering of COVID. In the last 24 hours, 22,942 were cured and discharged. This has resulted in 63.33% of total positive cases recovering. 6,35,756 patients have recovered, till date,’’ the Ministry said, adding that ‘Testing, Tracing and Treatment’ remain the cornerstone of India’s fight against COVID-19.

Team to Bihar

The Health Ministry on Friday also deployed a team to Bihar to review the COVID-19 situation in the State, with the region registering a rising trend in cases.

“The decision was taken to depute a multi-disciplinary team to Bihar to review and coordinate with the State Health Department in managing the COVID-19 outbreak in the State. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry; S. K. Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control; and Neeraj Nischal, Associate Professor, Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences-Delhi will undertake the visit immediately and coordinate with State health authorities to review the existing situation and provide necessary support and guidance,” said a senior Health Ministry official.

He added that India’s case fatality rate at 18.6 deaths/ million is one of the lowest in the world.

“The Health Ministry’s strategy of home isolation for the mild and asymptomatic patients has ensured that hospitals beds remain unburdened, where the focus has been on the treatment of the severe cases and reduction of fatality,” said the Ministry.

Infrastructure augmented

It added that medical infrastructure to ensure quality treatment for admitted patients is being continuously augmented across the country, with India now having 1,383 ‘Dedicated COVID Hospitals’, 3,107 ‘Dedicated COVID Healthcare Centres’, and 10,382 ‘COVID Care Centres’.

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“Together, they have a capacity of 46,673 ICU beds. 21,848 ventilators are deployed in the hospitals in all States/UTs. We are receiving no reports of shortage of N95 masks and PPE kits with the Centre having supplied 235.58 lakh N95 masks and 124.26 lakh PPE kits to States/ UTs/ Central institutions so far,” said the Ministry.

Meanwhile, in an effort to ramp-up testing across India, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has asked States and UTs to identify and approve all government and private facilities for conducting Rapid Antigen Detection Tests (RADT) for COVID-19.

Real-time data

The ICMR in its latest communication has advised that States should ensure all RADT testing points are appropriately linked with RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) test facilities, where symptomatic ‘negatives’ will be tested. District-wise login credentials should be shared with all antigen testing sites, government as well as private, so that data can be entered into the ICMR portal on a real-time basis.

It added that with the use of antigen tests, more tests were being carried out, and that it was absolutely necessary that all such testing data is uploaded to the ICMR database and all positive cases were brought to the attention of district/ municipal authorities for isolation/quarantine/treatment.

“It is expected that to provide safe healthcare services, all government hospitals/labs as well as all private NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers)/NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) hospitals/labs may initiate antigen testing and also apply for obtaining login credentials for data entry into the portal. ICMR has been receiving multiple requests from various public sector units, small private/government facilities, temples, etc., for initiating this testing,” the Council has said.

Testing ramped up

“Ramping up of testing capacity has resulted in more than 3 lakh tests being conducted per day. 3,33,228 samples have been tested in the last 24 hours. The cumulative number of 1,30,72,718 samples tested has resulted in 9,473 tests per million for the country. India currently has 1,244 labs with 880 labs in the government sector and 364 in the private sector,” said the Council.

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