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COVID-19 ratio: India’s lowest in the world

Coronavirus in world. Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV. Concept of coronavirus with flag of India. Illustration of COVID-19 case count. Coronavirus pandemic in India. Active COVID-19 cases.The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has said that India’s COVID-19 ratio is the lowest in the world as the pandemic continues. 

On Monday, the Ministry said that the country’s COVID-19 ratio numbers at 7.1 cases per lakh population. This compares to approximately “sixty cases per lakh population for the world as a whole,” the Ministry said in a statement. 

The statement asserted that the “Government of India is pursuing its pre-emptive and pro-active [sic] approach for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19. COVID-19 management efforts are being regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level.” It added that “aggressive and early measures so far have shown encouraging results.”

In its statement, the Union Health Ministry outlined that it had “issued new guidelines…to the States for categorisation of red/orange/green zones. As per these guidelines states have been asked to categorise districts/municipal corporations, or if warranted subdivision/ward or any other administrative unit as red/orange/green zone as per their field assessment.” This colour-coding system refers to hotspots, areas with some transmission, and areas with little or no transmission, respectively. 

The statement outlined that states ought to proceed “based on multifactorial analysis on the combination of the parameters shared by MoHFW, which are namely, total active cases, active cases per lakh population, doubling rate (calculated over [a seven-day period]), case fatality rate, testing ratio and test confirmation rate.” It added that “states have been asked to meticulously delineate the containment and buffer zones. States have been told to ensure stringent implementation of the containment plans in these containment zones.” 

At the global level, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed 325,457 lives. More than five million to date have been infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19. India now reports in excess of 100,000 infections, numbering at 106,886 at the time of writing. The death toll due to COVID-19 stands at 3,303 in the country. 

Recently, the Centre noted that 79 percent of India’s coronavirus cases are contained within thirty municipal areas spread across twelve states (Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh). However, as noted by Health Issues India, “should the disease spread to become endemic across the country, it could become all but impossible to control.” As such, there is a need for heightened vigilance in hotspot zones and a cogent, coherent public health strategy to ameliorate the effects of the pandemic and to ensure that as few lives are lost as possible.

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