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Only 2 Percent Indian Population Hit by Covid-19, 98 Percent Still at Risk, Says Govt, Experts Question Claim

A Bangladeshi woman mourns the death of her husband who died of COVID-19 at a hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, May 7, 2021. India's surge in coronavirus cases is having a dangerous effect on neighboring Bangladesh. Health experts warn of imminent vaccine shortages just as the country should be stepping up its vaccination drive, and as more contagious virus variants are beginning to be detected. (AP Photo/Mahmud Hossain Opu)

A Bangladeshi woman mourns the death of her husband who died of COVID-19 at a hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, May 7, 2021. India's surge in coronavirus cases is having a dangerous effect on neighboring Bangladesh. Health experts warn of imminent vaccine shortages just as the country should be stepping up its vaccination drive, and as more contagious virus variants are beginning to be detected. (AP Photo/Mahmud Hossain Opu)

The govt attributed this shrinking in numbers to rigorous Covid testing and containing measures.

A recent govt data revealed that only 2 percent of the entire Indian population has been struck by Covid-19 leaving the remaining 98 percent still vulnerable.

At a media briefing on Tuesday, the health ministry made this revelation emphasizing that, unlike other countries where the share of Covid affected population is much higher, India has been able to keep it low by springing into action its containment measures.

“Despite the high number of cases reported so far, we have been able to contain the spread to under 2% of the population due to continued efforts by the medical fraternity, states, and districts,” health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal

It also brought to the fore the huge percentage of the population which was still susceptible to the virus emphasizing the need to continue stringent containment measures and Covid appropriate behavior.

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The numbers quoted by the govt, however, raised eyebrows as many claimed that it ignored the finding of the national serosurvey that one-fifth of the population was exposed to the disease.

As per findings of the last serological survey conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research

almost 21.4% of the country’s adult population had been exposed to Covid-19 by mid-December.

The sero-prevalence among children aged 10-18 years was found to be 25.3%, 26.2% in other urban areas and 19% in rural areas reported TOI.

Although since the past 15 days India has been observing a continuous decline in active cases and Covid positivity rates. Officials noted that the curve of the pandemic is gradually flattening with states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh showing fewer positive cases as well as a lower rate of positivity.

The govt attributed this shrinking in numbers to rigorous Covid testing and containing measures.

“We are keeping the case fatality rate reasonably under control. We have to be very mindful that when we are achieving a declining positivity rate, it is because of the results of what we are doing and that doing cannot be slackened. We cannot again let this go out of hand," told Dr V K Paul, member-health, Niti Aayog to TOI.

For India as a whole, the average daily fresh cases between May 3 and May 9 were nearly 3.92 lakh. It dropped to 3.29 lakh the following week. Average daily deaths, however, rose from 3,888 to 4,038 in the same period.

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first published:May 19, 2021, 09:43 IST