NEW DELHI: The high-level Group of Ministers (GOM) on COVID-19 has agreed to the health ministry's proposal to allow the export of indigenously made ventilators.
The decision was taken as India continues to maintain a progressively declining low rate of fatality among COVID-19 patients, which currently stands at 2.15 per cent, "which means fewer numbers of active cases are on ventilators", the Union health ministry said in a statement.
As on July 31, only 0.22 per cent of the active cases were on ventilators across the country, it stated.
The health ministry said the GoM's decision has been communicated to the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) for further action needed to facilitate the export of indigenously manufactured ventilators.
"Now with the export of ventilators having been allowed, it is hoped that domestic ventilators would be in a position to find new markets in foreign countries," it said, adding that there has been substantial growth in the domestic manufacturing capacity of ventilators.
Compared to January, there are more than 20 domestic manufacturers of ventilators.
A prohibition/restriction on the export of ventilators was imposed in March to ensure domestic availability of the machines to effectively fight COVID-19.
All types of ventilators were prohibited for export vide DGFT notification with effect from March 24.
The country's total number of recoveries from COVID-19 has surged close to 11 lakh, while the case fatality rate has declined from 3.33 per cent in mid-June to 2.15 per cent, the lowest since lockdown was clamped in March, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday.
In the global platform, India continues to register and maintain the lowest COVID-19 mortality rate, it said and asserted that this is a testimony to the focused, coordinated, pre-emptive, graded and evolving "test, track, treat" strategy and efforts of the Centre, states and Union Territories.
With 36,569 patients discharged in 24 hours, the total number of recoveries has jumped to 10,94,374 on Saturday and exceed active COVID-19 cases by 5,29,271.
There are 5,65,103 active cases in the country at present, according to health ministry data updated at 8 am on Saturday.
"The recovery rate stands at 64.53 per cent," the ministry said.
"Emphasis on early detection through aggressive testing and effective clinical management of the hospitalised cases have resulted in the continuously falling case fatality rate (CFR), indicating that India has been able to successfully contain the fatality rate of COVID-19," it said.
While the CFR has been kept low, successful implementation of effective containment strategy, aggressive testing and standardised clinical management protocols based on a comprehensive standard of care approach have resulted in a consistent addition of more than 30,000 recoveries daily, the health ministry said.
It also said that three-tier hospital infrastructure with seamless patient management has ensured prompt triaging and treatment.
As on Saturday, there are 1,488 dedicated COVID hospitals with 2,49,358 isolation beds, 31,639 ICU beds, 1,09,119 with oxygen support and 16,678 ventilators.
Also, 3,231 dedicated COVID Health Centres with 2,07,239 isolation beds, 18,613 ICU beds and 74,130 oxygen-supported beds and 6,668 ventilators have been made operational.
Moreover, 10,755 COVID Care Centres with 10,02,681 beds are now available to combat COVID-19, the ministry said.
The Centre has also provided 273.85 lakh N95 masks and 121.5 lakh personal protective equipments (PPEs) and 1083.77 lakh hydroxychloroquine tablets to the states, Union Territories and central institutions so far.
India saw a record single-day increase of 57,118 infections, pushing India's COVID-19 tally 16,95,988 on Saturday, while the death toll climbed to 36,511 with 764 people succumbing to the disease in the same period.