Harsh Vardhan calls continuous decline in India's COVID tally a 'positive sign'

·3-min read
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan (File photo)
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan (File photo)

New Delhi [India], May 24 (ANI): Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday termed the continuous decline in COVID cases in India as a "positive sign", adding that it is the eighth day in succession when the country is having less than 3,00,000 daily new cases.

Vardhan chaired the 27th meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 via video-conferencing on Monday. He was joined by union ministers Hardeep Singh Puri, Mansukh Mandaviya and Ashwini Kumar Choubey. Dr Vinod K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog was also present in the virtual meeting.

Speaking at the occasion, Vardhan said, "Today is the 11th day in succession where our number of recoveries is more than the number of new cases. This is also the eighth day in succession where we are having less than three lakh daily new cases. This is a positive sign. Right now, our active cases in the country are 27 lakh. A couple of weeks back, we had over 37 lakh active cases."

On vaccines and clinical intervention, the Union Health Minister said, "We have already given 19.6 crore doses to our countrymen. Over 60 lakh doses are still with the states and further 21 lakh doses are in the pipeline."

He informed that the central government has already sent over 70 lakh Remdesivir vials and 45,735 ventilators to states/UTs.

On Genome Sequencing, he said 25,739 samples have been sequenced and variant B.1.617 has been found in 5,261 samples, making it the most common mutation detected till now. He also said that states have been requested to send samples regularly for better analysis.

Speaking about the rise in Mucormycosis or 'Black Fungus' cases, Dr Harsh Vardhan said 5,424 cases have been reported from 18 states with the most number of cases being reported from Gujarat and Maharashtra. Out of these, 4556 cases have a history of COVID-19 infection while the rest are non-COVID cases. 55 per cent of the affected had diabetes.

"Nine lakh vials of Amphotericin-B are being imported by the central government for treatment of Black Fungus. Of this, 50,000 vials have been received and around 3 lakh vials will be available in the next seven days", he said.

Meanwhile, Ashwini Kumar Choubey stressed on streamlining the availability of 2-DG drug by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, increasing the affordability and availability of home testing kits. He stressed the need that a protocol should be made to streamline the supply of mobile/home testing kits in the country.

Dr Aparna, Secretary (Pharma) informed that five more manufacturers have been given the license to manufacture Amphotericin B within the country.

The trajectory of declining fresh coronavirus infections continues further with 2,22,315 new cases being reported in the last 24 hours. As many as 2,40,842 fresh infections were reported on Sunday and 2,76,070 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), the country recorded 3,02,544 fresh recoveries in the last 24 hours, outnumbering new cases.

The cumulative caseload in India now stands at 2,67,52,447, including 27,20,716 active cases. The death toll has mounted to 3,03,720, while the recovery tally has reached 2,37,28,011. (ANI)

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