Health ministry sees gains in fight against cononavirus

The health ministry on Tuesday said the emerging trends in Covid care over the past few days showed a decline in average weekly positivity rate of the infection from 10.03 per cent in the first week of July to 7.72 per cent between 12 and 18 August amidst a record rise in testing.

Disease trends further show that since 13 August active new cases have fallen from 64,000 on 13 August to 55,000 on 17 August 17, even as number  of deaths which fell from 1,007 fatalities in a day to 876 during the 4-day period.
The total count of active coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in India stood at 6,73,166, forming 25 per cent of the total reported cases of coronavirus infection in the country, as of 8.00 am on Tuesday morning. This shows a decline of 3,734 from the previous day 
The country recorded 27,02,742 cases of coronvirus cases, including 55,079 reported in the 24 hours ended 8.00 am on Tuesday (18 August 2020). At the same time, the number of recovered patients has gone up to 19,77,779, including 57,937 patients recovered in the 24 hours ended 8.00 am on Tuesday.
The pandemic has left 51,797 people, including 876 during the 24 hours ended 8.00 am on Tuesday.
The average daily count of recovered cases is now more than 55,000 and the case fatality rate has come down to 1.92 per cent, secretary at the union health department Rajesh Bhushan said at a media briefing on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on Covid-19, held at the National Media Centre in New Delhi on Tuesday.
He also said that with the increase in testing, the daily average rate of positivity has shown a tendency to remains low. It has decreased from 10.03 per cent in the first week of July to 7.72 per cent over the last 7 days. The daily positivity rate varies between 7-8 per cent every day, while 73.18 per cent patients have recovered till date. 
He said the increased testing, consisting of both RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests, has helped to identify patients sooner and to start treatment at an early phase. 
The cumulative number of samples tested stood at 3,09,41,264 as of 8 am in the morning with 8,99,864 tested conducted in the previous 24 hours. 
The seven-day rolling (weekly) average of case fatality ratio shows it to be diminishing from 2.89 per cent in the first week of July to 1.94 per cent at present. However, the aim remains to bring down the case fatality ratio to below 1 per cent, Bhushan added.
According to Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, the recovery rate is progressing well, mortality rate is stable and going down, adding that testing is the key for disease containment, reducing mortality and improving outcome.  
He, however, cautioned that Covid-appropriate behaviours (like wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding crowds and large gatherings hand hygiene, immunity boosting etc) have to continue. 
Besides, he said surveillance and containment strategies also must go on and that individuals must seek medical advice as soon as possible without delay, on occurrence of symptoms, which is the most important step in the fight against Covid-19.
Meanwhile, scientists have now identified the most likely symptoms that coronavirus infection first shows up. According to the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, the earliest signs of Covid-19 are fever and then cough and muscle pain. 
The infected individuals will then likely experience nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.
The researchers noted that an improved understanding of the order of COVID-19’s symptoms would help ill patients decide whether to seek care promptly or self-isolate.
“This order is especially important to know when we have overlapping cycles of illnesses like the flu that coincide with infections of Covid-19,” the study’s co-author Peter Kuhn, professor of medicine, biomedical engineering, and aerospace and mechanical engineering at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, said in a news release.