28,252 mucormycosis cases reported from 28 states/UTs: Health minister Vardhan

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New Delhi, Jun 7 (PTI) Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said 28,252 cases of mucormycosis have so far been reported from 28 states/UTs in the country, of which 86 per cent cases have a history of COVID-19 and 62.3 per cent with a history of diabetes.

Maharashtra has reported the maximum number of mucormycosis cases (6,339) followed by Gujarat (5,486), he said after chairing the 28th meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 via video conferencing, a health ministry statement said.

V K Paul, member (Health), NITI Aayog presented a brief snapshot of the country’s vaccination status, preparedness for pediatric COVID-19 care, and the way forward to prevent the third wave of the infection, at the conference.

He said India took 141 days to reach the 23 crore-mark in terms of cumulative doses administered, which remains the second highest in the world after the US which did the same in 134 days.

'India is also one of the world's fastest countries in terms of number of doses administered so far. Out of 88.7 crore people who have been administered at least one dose globally, India accounts for 17.9 crore, which is 20.2 per cent of the global coverage,' Paul maintained.

He also remarked that India is fully prepared to deal with pediatric COVID-19 care, but caution remains the key. Vardhan noted that till Monday morning, 23,27,86,482 vaccine doses were administered to citizens in various categories. Talking specifically about the 18-44 age group, the first dose has been given to 2,86,18,514 people, he said.

'As of today, over 1.4 crore doses are still available with the states,' he said.

About other categories, the minister noted that first doses have been given to 6,06,75,796 people in the ‘above 60 category’ and 7,10,44,966 in the 45-59 age group.

On the testing front, he stated that 36,63,34,111 Covid tests have so far has conducted and the laboratories for testing purposes have also gone up to 2,624 in the country.

'Daily positivity rate has also been declining and is at 6.34 per cent and even though this is less than 10 per cent positivity rate for 14 consecutive days, there still are 15 states where the daily positivity rate is greater than 10 per cent,' he was quoted as saying in the statement.

In the second wave of COVID-19, the health minister said continuously daily cases are declining and are outnumbered by new recoveries.

He said 83 per cent of active cases are in 10 states and the remaining 17 per cent in 26 states/UTs. Seven states/UTs, namely, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand, have less than 1,000 COVID-19 cases, he said.

Five states and UTs (Jammu, Punjab, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh) have less than 2,000 cases. Even the most affected states like Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have observed decline in the number of cases at a significant rate. The growth rate has declined from 14.7 per cent (May 5) to 3.48 per cent (today), the statement said.

Vardhan added that Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) sequencing labs are looking at the mutants which have significant potential of severely affecting the disease transmission.

As of now, 10 national labs under INSACOG have sequenced around 30,000 samples and 18 more labs have been added to the consortium recently to boost the capacity of sequencing, he said.

“The recovery rate has been climbing up and stands at 93.94 per cent today. In the last 24 hours, we have had the least number of daily new cases in the last 61 days with just over 1 lakh cases (1,00,636).

“A total of 1,74,399 recoveries were registered in the last 24 hours and our case fatality rate has been 1.2 per cent. Today is the 25th day in succession where our daily recoveries outnumbered new cases,” he said.

On emerging cases of mucormycosis, the Union minister said, 'So far, 28,252 cases have been reported from 28 states. Out of these, 86 per cent (24,370 cases) have a history of COVID-19 infection and 62.3 per cent (17,601) have a history of diabetes. Maharashtra has reported the maximum number of Mucormycosis cases (6,339) followed by Gujarat (5,486),' he was quoted as saying in the statement.

Giridhar Aramane, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways gave an overview of oxygen availability in the country and measures taken to ramp up production and supply chain.

He mentioned that various initiatives have been undertaken to enhance oxygen availability and distribution through increase in production capacity, setting up of Pressure Swing Adsorption plants, import of LMO and oxygen concentrators.

He said oxygen production has increased from 5,700 MT in August, 2020 to more than 9,500 MT in May, 2021, and around 1,718 PSA plants (1,213 under PM Cares by MoHFW & DRDO, 108 by MoPNG, 40 by MoCoal, 25 by MoPower, 19 from foreign aid and 313 by state governments) are being established, the statement said.

Further, the senior official highlighted that procurement of 1 lakh oxygen concentrators have been sanctioned under PM Cares Fund and an Oxygen Digital Tracking System (ODTS) has been developed to enable real time tracking of LMO movement in the country. PTI PLB SRY

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