Hyderabad: India has surpassed China in the number of COVID-19 cases with the country reporting more than one lakh cases so far. However, India’s 3,163 Corona virus deaths, or 0.2 deaths per lakh population, is less when compared to the world average of 4.1 deaths per lakh population, according to the latest updates released by the Union ministry of health and family welfare.

India seems to be doing better when compared to China’s 4,645 deaths at an average of 0.3 deaths per lakh population. Belgium topped the list with 79.3 deaths, followed by Spain with 59.2 deaths per lakh population. Meanwhile, India has also registered a recovery rate of 38.73 per cent amongst COVID-19 patients and the rate is expected to increase in the coming days.

India has so far tested more than 24 lakh samples. A record number of 1,08,233 samples were tested on 18 May and in the last 24 hours, a total of 2,350 COVID-19 patients have recovered. So far, 39,174 patients have been cured in the country. At present, India has 58,802 active cases and these are all under active medical supervision. Of the active cases, only approximately 2.9 per cent patients are in the ICU, the Union ministry of health and family welfare, observed. The ministry also stressed on the importance of ensuring effective community awareness regarding preventive measures such as personal hygiene, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, promoting the use of face cover and physical distancing.

The ministry also issued revised testing guidelines on 19 May. In addition to the earlier criteria, the testing strategy has been widened to include frontline workers involved in containment and mitigation of COVlD-19, all hospitalised patients who develop symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI), and all symptomatic ILI among returnees and migrants within seven days of illness.
Revised guidelines were also issued on preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and on how to deal with a suspect or confirmed case if detected in these settings. Guidelines for dental professionals, including dentists, auxiliaries, and patients, who are at high risk of cross-infection were also issued. These guidelines entail basic preventive measures to be observed by all employees and visitors at all times. Also listed is the process to be followed if a confirmed case is reported, including management of contacts and the process for disinfection.

From one laboratory conducting COVID-19 test in January, India has very rapidly increased its testing capacity by adding over 385 government laboratories and 158 private laboratories. The country’s testing capacity has been expanded by forging partnerships with all Central government labs, state medical colleges, private medical colleges, and the private sector. Other testing machines like TrueNAT and CBNAAT have also been mobilised to ramp up testing.

Through 14 AIIMS-like mentor institutions, handholding of labs across the country has been undertaken to ensure adequate bio-safety standards and accreditation of the laboratories. To maintain steady supply of testing material to the labs, 15 depots have been created by roping in India Posts and private agencies for distribution. Support has been provided to many Indian companies to undertake production of testing material which was earlier primarily sourced from abroad. This has helped in maintaining steady supplies across the country, the Union ministry said in the statement.

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