INDIA – In a sigh of relief, the Union Health Ministry has reported that the active COVID-19 infections have declined by 1,478 in the last 24 hours, bringing the active caseload to 31,923, the lowest in just over six months. With this, the total number of infections registered in the country has hit 33,594,803.

The total number of deaths has risen to 446,368, with 282 new fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

The active cases account for 0.90 percent of total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate currently stands at 97.78 percent, the highest since the pandemic hit the country in March last year.

With 32,542 discharges recorded in the last 24 hours, the total number of people who recovered from the disease stands at 32, 848,273.

Preliminary data issued by the health ministry indicate that India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has reached 841,518,026, with the administration of 7,220,642 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours. This was accomplished through 8, 233,242 sessions under the nationwide vaccination drive against covid-19.

The central government has done much to cushion the citizens whose kin were in the forefront who have lost their loved ones due to Covid-19.

The Central Government has informed the Supreme Court that 50,000 rupees will be given to the kin of those who died due to the virus while participating in COVID-19 relief operations or activities related to pandemic preparedness.

According to the government, the assistance will not be limited to families affected by COVID-19 deaths in the first and second waves of the pandemic. However, it will also continue in future phases of the pandemic.

Notably, India’s national level test positivity rate has declined significantly. The weekly positivity rate has been below 3 percent (2.07%) for the last 87 days, while the daily positivity rate has been less than 3 percent for the past 21 days.

The test positivity rate, or TPR, is an important metric used by the public health system to monitor the level of Covid-19 transmission. It is the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are positive.

“Test positivity, when these tests are carried out on a random sample of the population and in sufficient quantity, is likely the best metric to dictate opening up, although we must be careful about local pockets where the level of infections have been lower than average and where the disease could still take off,” said Menon, professor, Departments of Physics and Biology, Ashoka University in Haryana.

Maintaining the test positivity rate is significant for keeping the country open in line with World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation that test positivity should remain at 5 percent or lower for 14 days before countries or regions reopen.

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