Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said the battle against the coronavirus was far from over. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, he claimed that India has one of the lowest cases and deaths per million – 3,320 and 55, respectively – in the world.

“I would urge all Members of Parliament that the coronavirus battle is still far from over,” Vardhan said. “On one hand, when we are in an Unlock stage to revive the Indian economy, and have a balanced approach, it is important that sustained community support is ensured to control the spread of the virus and break its chain of transmission.”

Vardhan also lauded India’s testing rates. “Covid-19 testing is about 1 million tests per day which translates to 720 tests per million population per day, much higher than that stipulated by WHO which 140 tests per million per day,” said the health minister. “A total of 5,51,89,226 samples were tested as of September 11.”

Vardhan’s remarks came on a day when India’s Covid-19 tally is nearing 50 lakh. On Tuesday, India’s coronavirus count rose to 49,30,236 with 83,809 new cases. This is the lowest daily rise in new cases in a week. The toll jumped by 1,054 to 80,776.

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Vardhan said the government was taking all necessary measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in India. He said about 40 lakh people were under surveillance across the country. “Extensive contact tracing of all positive cases is being undertaken regularly through disease surveillance network so as to break the chain of transmission,” he added.

The health minister pegged the fatality and recovery rates of the country at 1.67% and 77.65%, respectively. “Maximum cases and deaths have primarily been reported from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, Bihar, Telangana, Odisha, Assam, Kerala, and Gujarat,” he added.