On Saturday, while India again saw a record spike of fresh coronavirus cases, the data offered a glimmer of hope - there were more recoveries than fresh infections within 24 hours. Maharashtra, which has been facing the brunt of coronavirus pandemic in India, may be the answer.
In a piece of good news for the hard-hit state, its recovery rate improved from 31.2% to 43.3%, within a day. Maharashtra has now surpassed the Indian average recovery rate of 42.8%, states a report by the Indian Express.
According to data released by the state government, 8,381 people, out of which 7,358 belong to Mumbai, were discharged on Friday. Until Thursday, the state was discharging only around a 1,000 people day.
So what is the cause of the sudden hike in recovery? Officials point out that it is due to district officers checking their region and updating the database with information on recovered patients.
The tally of recovered Covid-19 patients in the state stood at 8,650 on Thursday but reached its double to 16,008 on the consequent day.
BMC's Deputy Executive Health Officer Dr Daksha Shah told IE that of the total recoveries, 715 were in actuality discharged on Friday. The rest, she said, were discharged over the last few days.
According to her, many people had gotten discharged, but that information was not getting registered in their system. Many of those who recovered were also being treated at Covid care centres or were in home-quarantine.
National Health Mission Director in Mumbai, Anup Kumar Yadav, said there were instances where a patient had gotten discharged but the information had not reflected officially.
He gave an example, saying that if a Thane resident was admitted to a Mumbai hospital, upon his discharge the communication did not reach Thane officials. Thus, there would be a gap in recorded figures and real numbers, he said.
A revision in discharge policy by the Indian Council of Medical Research is also to be noted for this hike. Since May 11, ICMR is allowing asymptomatic people to be discharged from treatment facilities after 10 days of their admission.
Patients who are quarantining at home and those asymptomatic will also not need to be tested after 10 days. Only those who are severely ill will be tested before discharge.
Previously, a 14-day quarantine was required and the patient was only discharged after testing negative for Covid-19 within a gap of 24 hours.
A health official stated in the report, that some districts were yet to follow strictly upon the new discharge policy. The case doubling time of Maharashtra is also improving now - to 15.7 days from 11 days last week, said the report.