New Delhi, May 20: About 6.39% of the total number of active COVID-19 cases in the country needed hospital support, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.
During a briefing on the COVID-19 situation, joint secretary in the ministry Lav Agarwal also said about 2.94 per cent of the active COVID-19 cases needed oxygen support, 3 per cent needed intensive care units (ICU) and 0.45 per cent required ventilator support.
“Only around 6.39% of COVID-19 cases need either oxygen support or ICU or ventilator support; many people are recovering due to early identification. At the same time, we are also upgrading our healthcare infrastructure,” he said.
“During lockdown, we have upgraded our hospital infrastructure, including oxygen supported beds, ICU beds and ventilators. Our efforts give us confidence that we are ready and equipped, along with states, to manage COVID-19 cases,” he added.
Agarwal said the health ministry analysed the data from the recently released WHO situation report and found that while cases per lakh of world population stand at 62, in India, it was found that 7.9 people per lakh population were affected.
“Despite similar population, total cases of COVID-19 in top 15 countries is 34 times that of India and despite similar population, total deaths due to COVID-19 in top 15 countries is 83 times that of India,” the joint secretary said.
He further said so far, India has about 0.2 COVID-19 deaths per lakh population as against the global figure of 4.1.
Among the countries with high COVID-19 casualties, the US with 87,180 fatalities has 26.6 deaths per lakh population. The UK has reported 34,636 deaths and has approximately 52.1 deaths per lakh population.
“While our deaths are a matter of grief, we find that six countries have reported more than 10,000 COVID-19 deaths, together with states and citizens. We have relatively been able to manage the situation, though the challenge still continues,” Agarwal said.
When the lockdown started, the COVID-19 recovery rate was 7.1 per cent which gradually improved to 39.62 per cent, he said.
He said the government’s focus will be on stringent containment measures, hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, environmental sanitation and conversion of physical distancing into a life norm.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), responding to a question on whether the government is planning to drop hydroxychloroquine from the COVID-19 treatment plan, said a review of its efficacy will be held to decide on its prophylaxis.
Head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at ICMR Raman R Gangakhedkar said 25.36 lakh COVID-19 tests have been done till 12.30 pm on Tuesday. For the second time, more than one lakh tests were conducted within a span of 24 hours.
“There are 555 testing laboratories and 89,466 tests (were) done in ICMR labs yesterday (Tuesday),” he said. (PTI)