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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: Before the lockdown and 30 days into the lockdown, India's positivity rate has remained 4.5 per cent, despite a 24-fold increase in testing, the Centre said on Thursday.

C.K. Mishra, the Chairman of the Empowered Group 2, said the percentage of positive cases as a ratio of testing is more or less the same as it was a month back.

He added that post the lockdown, testing increased 24 times while the number of new positive cases grew 16 times.

Mishra said India has done better than majority of the developing countries, except South Korea, with respect to the percentage of tested cases yielding positive results.

"During the 30 days of lockdown, we have been able to cut transmission, minimise spread and increase the doubling time of COVID-19, consistently ramp up our testing and utilise our time to prepare for the future," added Mishra.

He said the number of dedicated hospitals increased 3.5 times since last month and the number of isolation beds increased 3.6 times since March.

Detailing the nature of growth rate of COVID-19 cases, Mishra said the growth has been more or less linear, not exponential, and this indicates that the strategies adopted so far have succeeded in containing the infection to a particular level.

Also Read: Will Modi Govt Handle COVID-19 Crisis Well, Over 93% Reply In Affirmative

He insisted that the country's testing strategy has been focused, targeted and continues to expand, and is an evolving strategy.

"The lockdown period has been used gainfully to review, assess and expand our hospital infrastructure and preparedness; our effort has been to use resources and be over-prepared," said Mishra.

He added that the country's first goal with regard to hospitalisation has been to ensure that the minimum number of people needs to go to the hospital. The second goal is to ensure enough infrastructure so that every person who needs to go to the hospital is treated well, cured and sent back. Every district in the country is now working towards that, he added.

Total coronavirus cases mount to 21,700, toll 686

Meanwhile, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country mounted to 21,700 as on Thursday evening, the Union Health Ministry said.

Of the total cases, 16,689 are active cases, 4,324 people have recovered, and 686 people have succumbed to the disease. Fresh cases in the last 24 hours are 1,229 while 34 deaths.

Maharashtra remained the worst-hit state with a total number of cases rising to 5,652, followed by Gujarat which reported 2,407 cases and Delhi which has reported 2,248 cases, according to the Health Ministry data.

Besides the trio, other states which have crossed the 1,000 mark are Rajasthan (1,890), Tamil Nadu (1,629), Madhya Pradesh (1,695) and Uttar Pradesh (1,509).

Maharashtra has recorded 269 deaths, the highest number of fatalities among all the states. The western state is followed by Gujarat at 103, Madhya Pradesh at 81 and New Delhi at 48.

Among another state, Andhra Pradesh has reported 895 cases and 27 deaths, Bihar stood at 148 cases and two deaths, Haryana at 262 and three deaths, Jammu and Kashmir at 407 cases and five deaths, Karnataka at 443 and 17 deaths and Kerala with 438 cases and three deaths.

Also Read: Bill Gates Commends PM Modi’s Leadership In Leading Fight Against COVID-19 In India

States which have reported less than 10 cases are Tripura, Mizoram, Puducherry, Manipur, Goa and Arunachal Pradesh.

On the global front, the total number of cases have crossed 2.5 million mark and over 1.8 lakh people have died till now.

(IANS)

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