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New Delhi : Union Health & Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan held a meeting through video conferencing to review COVID-19 preparedness and measures for ensuring COVID Appropriate Behaviour with Dr K Sudhakar, Health and Medical Education Minister, Karnataka, and other senior officials of the State Government, here on November 4, 2020.

Expressing satisfaction over India’s progress in combating Corona, Dr Vardhan said, “ We will soon be completing a journey of 10 months in fighting Corona. The country is now witnessing substantial improvements in COVID parameters. The number of cases and deaths are in a declining phase. The active cases have been substantially reduced. The Recovery Rate of India has surpassed 92% today. The Case Fatality Rate is also declining and stands at 1.49%. With over 2,000 labs, the testing capacity has also increased,” he said, according to a PIB release.

Urging people across the country to follow the clarion call of the Prime Minister as part of the ‘Jan Andolan’, the Union Health Minister urged people to follow COVID appropriate behaviour. He said, “ In the coming festival and winter season, the virus poses potential threats. It becomes very important to follow COVID Appropriate Behaviour to cut the transmission of virus. Whenever there is a laxity in following basic precautionary measures, the country has suffered.”

Comparing the COVID trajectory of Karnataka with that of the country, Dr Vardhan said, “Karnataka has the second highest cumulative cases after Maharashtra. Karnataka has a Recovery Rate of 93% which is more than the national recovery rate. The case fatality rate (1.35%) is also lower than the national average.” He also appreciated the efforts of the State in reducing active cases.

Dr Vardhan expressed concerns over the trajectory of the disease in Urban Bengaluru, Mysuru, Bellari, Dakshin Kannada, Hassan, and Belagavi which are the high case load districts in Karnataka. He also spoke with officials of the districts where the positive cases are increasing and the Fatality rate is showing a rising trend.  He urged the State to adopt high visibility IEC campaigns for adoption of COVID Appropriate Behaviour.

Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, underscored that the new cases and deaths in Karnataka have declined significantly but still a lot needs to be done to bring the parameters to pre July levels.  The State should aim at bringing the positivity level to less than 5%. The State needs to engage aggressively with all the stakeholders in those districts which have fatality rate higher than the national average.