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Covid-19: Robust vaccination drive brings India's fatality rate to 1%

Since the first reported death in 2020, the country has since seen over 515,000 confirmed deaths caused by the virus



Reuters file
Reuters file
by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 12 Mar 2022, 8:03 AM

Last updated: Sat 12 Mar 2022, 8:04 AM

India’s first recorded Covid-19 fatality happened on March 12, 2020, when a 76-year-old man from Kalburgi in Karnataka, died after getting infected with the virus following a trip abroad.

The country has since seen over 515,000 confirmed deaths caused by the virus. According to reports, India ranks third in the list of countries with the highest number of deaths. It has a case fatality ratio of one per cent, which is lower than the international figure of 1.5 per cent to two per cent of total cases report.

“The lead time that we got here in India helped us prepare better to manage Covid as compared to most western countries that were hit suddenly,” Dr Neeraj Nischal of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi was quoted in the media. “It saved a lot of lives. Another factor is the age group as western countries saw higher number of deaths in older population and India, being a relatively younger country, managed the disease slightly better.”

The most important factor during the latter half of the pandemic in India was the robust vaccination programme, which played “a significant part in reducing mortality in spite of concerns regarding immune escape with regards to Omicron. It clearly provided protection against death,” he added.

While the early stage and the second wave saw under capacity in India’s testing facilities, it was ramped up.

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“From starting the Covid test in one lab in January 2020 at NIV-Pune, ICMR put together a network of over 3,000 labs in a short span of time,” said a government official. “From 10,000 per day sample testing capacity to these labs now being capable of conducting about 2 million tests in a day, India’s testing capacity was significantly ramped up to meet the demand.”

According to government figures, total Covid-19 vaccinations, as of Saturday morning, add up to 1.799 billion.


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