India hardest-hit by COVID19 in Asia, a nation-wide peak may still be some distance away: IPHA


New Delhi: India is the hardest-hit nation by coronavirus disease in Asia and is currently accounting for 30 percent of the daily reported new COVID-19 cases and 20 percent of daily deaths globally. However, a country-wide peak may still be some distance away, experts from Indian Public Health Association (IPHA) said.

In a third joint statement on COVID-19 pandemic in India, a task force of eminent public health experts have opined that cumulative recoveries in India are an impressive 2.3 million, and the corrected case fatality ratio (CCFR) is steadily declining.

In April 2020, a joint task force of eminent public health experts of India was constituted by IPHA, and the Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine (IAPSM) to advise the Union government for containment of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

“An active case pool of 700,000+ with an effective reproduction number (Rt) of 1.06 (16 August 2020) implies that a country-wide peak may still be some distance away,” experts said in the report.

The count of daily new cases has increased dramatically from 9,472 (5 June) to 61,749 (23 August) in the two months of Unlock phase. Cases per million population in India are at 2,251.

“Due to preoccupation of the entire health system with COVID-19 response, other national health programs have received limited attention,” the report noted.

“Increasingly, COVID-19 positive persons are being reported from small-sized towns, as well as from rural areas. Sero- surveys have revealed that the disease has spread to most parts of the country indicating community transmission of COVID-19,” it said.

“The sero-surveillance reports from various parts of India indicate that through the current strategy of ‘Test, Trace, Treat, and Isolate’ we are detecting less than 5 percent of the total estimated cases of SARS CoV-2 infection,” it added.

So far, India has reported about 36 lakh COVID-19 cases with 64,469 deaths. Till date, India has conducted 4,23,07,914 tests for COVID-19, and at least 8,46,278 of those were done in the last 24 hours. (ANI)