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PM prod to 5 states to ramp up Covid-19 testing

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked five states, including Bengal, to further ramp up testing for the new coronavirus disease as part of nationwide efforts at early identification of cases and containment to break chains of transmission and reduce Covid-19 mortality.

Modi, in a videoconference with the chief ministers and representatives of 10 states that account for around 80 per cent of the country’s Covid-19 cases, also underlined a target to reduce mortality among Covid-19 patients to less than 1 per cent.

The current mortality rate among lab-confirmed Covid-19 patients is 1.99 per cent. Modi said the average fatality rate in India was among the lowest in the world and had been continuously reducing. Union health ministry figures show that the case fatality rate has dropped from 3.36 per cent on June 18 to 2.77 per cent on July 10 to 1.99 on August 11.

The 10 states — Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh — accounted for more than 513,000 (80 per cent) of the 639,929 Covid-19 patients under medical supervision on Tuesday.

Modi said if the virus was defeated in these 10 states, the entire country would emerge victorious in the battle against Covid-19.