NEW DELHI: Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi and Tamil Nadu account for 70 per cent of the total COVID-19 deaths in the country, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.
The ministry further said that the five states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu account for 62 per cent of the active cases in the country.
Addressing a press conference, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said if deaths are tracked in these states and UTs across weeks then a different picture emerges.
"If we track deaths in these five states across weeks, then out of 5 only 2 states i.e Karnataka and Delhi have shown an increase in Case Fatality Trajectory. However, in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu there is decrease in daily deaths," he said.
"On a week to week basis, there has been 4.5 per cent decrease in average daily deaths reported in Andhra Pradesh, 11.5 per cent decline in Maharashtra and 18.2 per cent decline in Tamil Nadu. On the other hand, Delhi has seen 50 per cent and Karnataka has seen 9.6 per cent increase in average daily fatalities," he said.
There was a decline of both active cases and deaths but there has been a rise in the past few weeks in the national capital, he said.
Giving statistics on the number of cases per million population, Bhushan said India has 2,792 cases of COVID-19 per million population which is amongst the lowest in the world.
He added that in India, deaths per million population is 49 which is also amongst the lowest in the world.
"Recovered cases of COVID-19 are 3.6 times the number of active cases," he added.
Bhushan said states and UTs where COVID positivity rate among healthcare workers is on the higher side are Telangana (18 per cent), Maharashtra (16 per cent), Delhi (14 per cent), Karnataka (13 per cent), Puducherry (12 per cent) and Punjab (11 per cent).
Responding to a question, Bhushan said there is no directive from the Health Ministry on wearing a mask if you driving a car alone or riding a cycle alone.
"If you are cycling or jogging in a group you need a mask and need to maintain social distancing," he said.
On a question on why the government is opening up the economy when cases are increasing, Bhushan said a graded approach has been adopted to unlock and open up various economic activities.
"It is not as if suddenly everything has been opened up.
Prior to graded opening of economic activities, the government also ensured that all prerequisites such as adequate testing capacity, clear-cut guidelines of standard clinical treatment protocol and enhanced hospital infrastructure are in place," he said.
At the end of the day the government firmly believes that while lives are important, livelihoods are equally important, he added.
"Daily positive numbers are increasing there is no doubt about it. But then these numbers have to be seen in the context of the total population of India. We are the second most populous country in the world. We are conducting, on an average, 9.5 lakh tests in a day which was not happening atleast a month and half ago," he said.
"In the last 24 hours we conducted 11.70 lakh tests and what is interesting to note is that in these tests, the positivity rate remained 7.20 per cent," Bhushan added.