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COVID-19: India's positivity rate at 5.20%, says Health Ministry

Progressive countrywide expansion in testing infrastructure has played a crucial role in the steep rise of testing numbers, the health ministry underlined.

February 22, 2021 / 03:24 PM IST

India has registered a record in the number of COVID-19 cumulative tests, with over 21.15 crore samples tested, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday. The country's national positivity rate is pegged at 5.20 per cent.

Progressive countrywide expansion in testing infrastructure has played a crucial role in the steep rise of testing numbers, the ministry underlined.

With 2,393 testing labs in the country including 1,220 government laboratories and 1,173 private laboratories, the daily testing capacity has got a substantial boost.

"India's cumulative national positivity rate is presently pegged at 5.20 percent," the ministry said.

A total of 6,20,216 tests were conducted in a span of 24 hours.

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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"The number of beneficiaries being tested per million every day has shown a consistent and progressive increase. India's tests per million stand at 1,53,298.4 as on date," the ministry highlighted.

Till February 22, the COVID-19 vaccination coverage was 1,11,16,854 through 2,32,317 sessions, as per the provisional report. These include 63,97,849 health care workers (HCWs 1st dose), 9,67,852 HCWs (2nd dose) and 37,51,153 frontline workers (FLW 1st dose).

The 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccination started on February 13 for those beneficiaries who have completed 28 days after receipt of the 1st dose. Vaccination of the FLWs started on February 2.

As on day-37 of the vaccination drive (21st February), 31,681 vaccine doses were given. Out of which, 24,471 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 1,429 sessions for 1st dose (HCWs and FLWs) and 7,210 HCWs received 2nd dose of vaccine.

Out of total 1,11,16,854 vaccine doses, 1,01,49,002 (HCWs and FLWs) received 1st dose of vaccine and total 9,67,852 HCWs received 2nd dose of vaccine, the ministry said.

It said 60.17 percent of the total vaccine doses are concentrated in seven states. Karnataka alone accounts for 11.8 percent (1,14,043 doses).

India's cumulative recoveries surged to 1.06 crore (1,06,99,410) and exceed the active cases by 1,05,49,355 (71.3 times), the ministry underscored.

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A total of 9,695 patients have recovered and got discharged in a span of 24 hours.

The ministry said 80.86 percent of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in five states.

Kerala has reported the maximum number of single day recoveries with 4,345 newly recovered cases. A total of 2,417 people recovered in Maharashtra in a span of 24 hours followed by 460 in Tamil Nadu.

The country's total active cases is 1,50,055 as on date which consists of 1.36 percent of India's total infections.

A total 14,199 new daily cases have been recorded in a span of 24 hours.

Seven states and UTs have not reported any new cases in a span of 24 hours. These are Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Daman and Diu and Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the ministry said.

It said 86.3 per cent of the new cases are from five states.

Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 6,971. It is followed by Kerala with 4,070 while Tamil Nadu reported 452 new cases.

Nineteen states and UTs have not reported any COVID-19 deaths in a span of 24 hours. These are Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, J-K, Rajasthan, Odisha, Goa, Chandigarh, Assam, Manipur, Sikkim, Lakshadweep, Tripura, Nagaland, Ladakh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Daman and Diu and Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Besides,83 deaths were reported in a span of 24 hours, the ministry said adding five states account for 78.31 percent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (35). Kerala reported 15 deaths.

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PTI
first published: Feb 22, 2021 03:15 pm

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