India records 86,961 Covid-19 cases, recovery rate rises over 80%

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India recorded 86,961 cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), lowest in six days, and 1,130 deaths between Sunday and Monday morning, according to the Union health ministry on Monday. The country’s tally to rose to 5,487,580 and the death toll to 87,882, data showed at 8am.

There are 1,003,299 active cases of the coronavirus disease and 4,396,399 recoveries after 93,356 patients were cured and discharged across the country in the last 24 hours. This takes India’s recovery rate to 80.11%.

The health ministry has said India, the second worst-hit country, has the highest number of recovered Covid-19 patients globally, constituting 19% of the total recoveries across the world. “India occupies the top position in the world in terms of total recoveries. More than 43 lakh have recovered. India’s recoveries constitute 19% of the total global recoveries,” the ministry said.

Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is actively exploring saliva-based test for detection of Covid-19 and asserted that no significant or drastic mutation in strains of Sars-CoV-2, which causes the coronavirus disease, has been found in India till now.

Vardhan said during an interaction with his social media followers that ICMR has been conducting large-scale sequencing of nationally representative strains of Sars-CoV-2 virus collected for several months over different time-points. He added that detailed results on mutations and evolution of the virus will be available in early October.

ICMR has successfully completed the second round of serosurvey, to know the prevalence of coronavirus disease in the country, and the final phase of results is currently being analysed. “The final phase analysis of the survey is now underway and will offer a comparison with the results of the first survey,” it said in a statement.

The serosurvey is done by analysing blood samples of selected individuals for antibodies against Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. It determines a past infection, considering a majority of patients do not exhibit symptoms and not everyone is getting tested for the viral infection.

The health minister, during his interaction, also sought to dispel fears caused by the suspension of trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate, saying vaccine development is a complex process and trials have restarted only after an independent investigative expert committee permitted them to proceed.

He explained the difference between various vaccines under clinical trial in India and that since formulations, doses, route of administration are different for the vaccines, their mechanisms of action are also different.

Vardhan also spoke on the role of traditional medicine in the present context and said that the AYUSH ministry has developed research protocols for validating claims of various Ayush practitioners for Covid-19 solutions although no formulation has been validated as a specific drug.

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