India's Battle Against Covid-19 Far From Over: Union Health Minister Tells Parliament

India's Battle Against Covid-19 Far From Over: Union Health Minister Tells ParliamentHealth Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan (Pic Via Twitter)

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan today (15 September) said India's battle against the Covid-19 outbreak was far from over yet, Hindustan Times reported.

The Minister, while speaking in the Rajya Sabha, said the central government had been taking necessary steps to check the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

"I want to remind the members that battle against Covid-19 is far from over. I wish to inform the house that government is taking all necessary measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in India," said Vardhan.

Even though country is on the verge of breaching the 50 lakh mark of total reported infections, the Union Minister said cases and deaths per million in India were among the lowest in the world, with 3,320 and 55 respectively.

"Covid-19 testing is about 1 million tests per day which translates to 720 tests per million population per day, much higher than that stipulated by WHO which 140 tests per million per day. A total of 5,51,89,226 samples were tested as of September 11," he added.

India on Tuesday reported a spike of 83,000 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s total tally past 49-lakh mark to 49,30,237, including 9,90,061 active cases.

“COVID-19 fatality and recovery rates stand at 1.67% and 77.65% respectively. Maximum cases and deaths have primarily been reported from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, Bihar, Telangana, Odisha, Assam, Kerala, and Gujarat,” the Minister said.

He said about 40 lakh persons were under surveillance. “Extensive contact tracing of all positive cases is being undertaken regularly through disease surveillance network so as to break the chain of transmission,” he added.

Vardhan also spoke about the clinical management of coronavirus, pointing out that no specific antiviral drugs have proved effective so far while the symptomatic treatment for fever and cough, appropriate rehydration, and supplemental oxygen therapy remained the mainstay of treatment.

The Minister, however, said that in India, drug hydroxychloroquine has been re-purposed for mild and moderate cases. In addition, provisions for investigational therapies have also been made through the use of Remdesivir, convalescent plasma, and Tocilizumab for managing severe cases under close medical supervision.

(With inputs from IANS)