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India is not in community transmission stage of COVID-19, asserts ICMR

This was stated by Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr Balram Bhargava while releasing India’s first sero-survey on COVID-19 during a media briefing in New Delhi on Thursday.

He said, India is such a large country and prevalence is very low.

Dr Bhargava informed that India’s COVID-19 cases per lakh population is the lowest in the world and the number of deaths per lakh population is also amongst the lowest in the world.

The survey has found that lockdown and containment measures were successful in preventing a rapid rise in infections, but a large proportion of the population still remains susceptible.

It has also found that  0.73 per cent of population in 83 districts where it was conducted had evidence of past exposure to coronavirus infection.

As per the survey COVID incidents are higher in urban slums. The survey was conducted in May this year. Its part one has been completed and part  two is ongoing.

Dr Bhargava said, since a large proportion of the population is susceptible and infection can spread, non-pharmacological interventions such as physical distancing, use of face mask or cover, hand hygiene, cough etiquette must be followed strictly.

Talking about the survey results, NITI Aayog Member and Head of an Empowered Committee on Medical Management Dr. V K Paul said the infection fatality rate is 0.08 per cent which is very low.

He also said, the states can not lower their guard and need to keep on implementing effective surveillance and containment strategies.

Speaking on the occasion, the Health Ministry Representative said, the recovery rate of COVID-19 patients has improved to 49.21 per cent in the country.

He said, the number of patients recovered presently exceeds the number of active COVID-patients.

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