India performs much better as compared to global average in terms of number of infections and mortality per lakh population due to COVID-19. Briefing media in New Delhi, Union Health Ministry official said, due to the lockdown and containment measures taken by the government, 10.7 cases per lakh population have been reported in India as compared to 69.9 COVID19 cases per lakh population for the world as a whole.
The official said 4.5 deaths per lakh population have been reported for the world, while India has reported about 0.3 deaths per lakh population, which is amongst the lowest in the world. He said, the COVID-19 mortality rate in India is among the lowest in the world at 2.87 per cent and attributed the timely lockdown and management of coronavirus infection cases as the main reasons for this.
Health Ministry also said that the recovery rate of patients from COVID-19 infection has now gone up to 41.61 per cent which was 7.1 per cent in March this year.
The Health Ministry official also appealed to people to maintain hand hygiene and social distancing and wear masks while stepping out. He said, there is a need to focus on prevention and containment measures to contain spread of COVID19 infection. He said, about fifty per cent of deaths reported among elderly people while 73 per cent reported in the patients with comorbidity.
ICMR, Director General said that currently over one lakh samples for COVID-19 are being tested in a day. He said, the country has now 612 labs out of which 430 are government labs and 182 are private labs.
On use of Hydroxychoroquine- HCQ drug, the ICMR DG said that HCQ has been widely used against malaria and considering its anti-viral properties, in-vitro study data and availability and safety, ICMR had recommended it as preventive treatment on trial basis under supervision. He said, no major side-effects of HCQ have been found in studies in India except nausea and vomiting and its use should be continued in preventive treatment for COVID-19.
He said it has been clearly advised that HCQ should be taken with food, not on empty stomach. He said, the ICMR also emphasized that one ECG should be done during the treatment. He said, it expanded the use of HCQ to frontline workers also, considering the potential benefits.