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Recovered cases twice the number of active cases: Health ministry

New Delhi: India's COVID-19 tally increased to 18,55,745 with 52,050 people testing positive for the infection in a day, while the recoveries crossed the 12-lakh mark on Tuesday, according to the Union Health ministry data.

The death toll due to COVID-19 climbed to 38,938 with 803 fresh fatalities being reported in 24-hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The Health ministry on Tuesday added that the recovered cases at 12.30 lakh are two times the number of active cases of COVID-19 in India. Currently, there are 5,86,298 active COVID-19 cases in the country. "More than 2 crore Covid tests have been conducted, including more than 6.6 lakh tests in the last 24 hours," the ministry added.

The recovery rate among COVID-19 patients has risen to 66.31 per cent, while the fatality rate has further dropped to 2.10 pc, the data stated.

This is the sixth consecutive day that COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 50,000.

A cumulative total of 2,08,64,750 samples have been tested up to August 2 with 6,61,892 samples being tested on Monday, the highest done in a day so far, scientist and media coordinator at ICMR, Dr Lokesh Sharma, said.

"A total of 1,05,32,074 tests for detection of Coronavirus infection have been performed, with a per day average of 3,39,744 tests, in July, the highest number of tests conducted in a month so far," Sharma said.

Of the 803 fresh deaths reported, 266 are from Maharashtra, 109 from Tamil Nadu, 98 from Karnataka, 63 from Andhra Pradesh, 53 from West Bengal, 48 from Uttar Pradesh, 23 from Telangana, 22 from Gujarat, 19 from Punjab, 17 from Delhi, 14 from Madhya Pradesh, 12 from Rajasthan, 11 from Jammu and Kashmir and 10 from Odisha.

Of the total 38,938 deaths, Maharashtra has reported the maximum at 15,842 followed by 4,241 in Tamil Nadu, 4,021 in Delhi, 2,594 in Karnataka, 2,508 in Gujarat, 1,778 in Uttar Pradesh, 1,731 in West Bengal, 1,537 in Andhra Pradesh and 900 in Madhya Pradesh.

Meanwhile, noting that lockdown was a temporary measure to contain the spread of Coronavirus, a senior official of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday said India has a low testing rate when compared to some of the countries that are successfully trying to curb it.

The Chief Scientist of WHO, Soumya Swaminathan, in an interactive session through video conference said: "India as a whole, the testing rates are much lower compared to some of the countries, who have done well like Germany, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan," she said.

Without an adequate number of tests, fighting the virus is like "fighting fire blindfolded," she pointed out.

According to Swaminathan, the number of tests being conducted is not adequate if the COVID-19 test positivity rate is above five per cent.

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