New Delhi:

India's Covid-19 recovery rate rose to 63.13 per cent on Wednesday with a record 28,472 patients recuperating from the disease in 24 hours, while the case fatality rate further dropped to 2.41 per cent, the Union Health Ministry said.

According to the ministry data updated at 8 am, recoveries have surged to 7,53,049 exceeding active cases of coronavirus infection by 3,41,916.

The health ministry said that effective clinical management of Covid-19 cases has led to an improvement in recovery figures while case fatality has been falling continuously.

Case fatality rate has dropped to 2.41 per cent from Tuesday's 2.43 per cent. It was 3.36 per cent on June 17.

"While the national recovery rate has improved,19 states and Union Territories are posting a recovery rate higher than the national average," the ministry said.

It said that the consistently increasing number of recovered people and growing difference between active and recovered patients are testimony that strategies adopted by the Centre and implemented by states and Union Territories are bearing desired outcomes.The primary focus has been on early detection through house-to-house surveys, surveillance, contact tracing, effective containment plans, screening of the vulnerable populace and wide-spread testing, the health ministry said.

The ramped up three-tier health infrastructure and well-executed standard of care protocol have aided in effective treatment in hospitals and through home isolation, it added.

India registered 37,724 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday pushing the country's Covid-19 tally to 11,92,915 while the death toll rose to 28,732 with 648 people succumbing to the disease in a day, the updated data showed.

AIIMS, Delhi,along with the Centres of Excellence in the states and Union Territories have bolstered clinical treatment and critical care of ICU patients, thereby managing to reduce the case fatality rate in India, the ministry said.

The e-ICU program of AIIMS, Delhi, is yet another avenue of Centre-state cooperation which is aimed at reducing mortality. Conducted twice a week, these teleconsultation sessions have mentored and supported big Covid-19 hospitals in states through shared experiences and technical advice from domain experts in clinical management of ICU patients.

"With dedicated efforts of healthcare workers, recoveries are improving and case fatality is continuously falling, which currently stands at 2.41 per cent," the ministry said.

States and Union Territories with recovery rate higher than the national average include Delhi (84.83 pc), Telangana (78.37 pc), Rajasthan (72.50 pc), Gujarat (72.30 pc), Chhattisgarh (71.81 pc), Assam (71.05 pc), Odisha (70.96 pc), Tamil Nadu (70.12 pc), Madhya Pradesh (67.47 pc) and Bihar (63.95).

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 1,47,24,546 samples have been tested up to July 21 with 3,43,243 samples being tested on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Regional Director (South-East Asia), Word Health Organisation, Poonam Khetrapal Singh said India is responding with utmost urgency to coronavirus from the very beginning and has been continuously strengthening preparedness and response measures,

"India is responding with utmost urgency to Covid-19 from the start. It's been continuously strengthening preparedness and response measures, including ramping up testing capacities, readying more hospitals, arranging and stocking up medicines and essentials," Singh said at a virtual briefing.

"India took bold, decisive and early measures earlier in the outbreak. The country did not witness an exponential increase in cases like some other countries which reported their first few cases along with India. Like in any other country the transmission of Covid-19 is not homogenous in India. There are areas yet to see a confirmed case, some have sporadic cases, in some areas some small clusters while we are witnessing large clusters in some megacities from the densely populated areas," Singh said.

She said WHO was aware of varying capacities at sub-national levels.

"Not unusual in a country as big as India and its population size that measures taken may often not be uniformly sufficient across all areas. Scaling up capacities and response remains a constant need in India."

Replying on the question of what more needs to be done in controlling the spread of Covid-19, she said all countries including India must continue to implement core public health and social distancing measures.

"Local epidemiology to guide our response for finding hotspots and testing, detecting, isolating and providing care to the affected, promoting safe hygiene practices and respiratory etiquette, protecting health workers and increasing health system capacity is also key," she said.