Creating another bleak milestone, the state on Tuesday added a record 1,346 new coronavirus positive cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total count to 29,968 by Tuesday. The death toll attributed to the coronavirus stood at 827, including 18 since Monday.
Lucknow, one of the Covid-19 hotspots, saw its highest single-day tally at 196 and had the third highest active cases (718) in the state, preceded by National Capital Region (NCR) districts Ghaziabad (1,390) and Gautam Buddh Nagar (1,121).
Of the 196 cases, as many as 114 cases were reported on Monday and added to the state’s list on Tuesday, said health officials. Of the rest 82 cases, 30 were Army recruits from the district cantonment area, according to a statement issued by Lucknow Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Narendra Agarwal.
Besides Lucknow, 149 new cases were in Ghaziabad; 115 in Gautam Buddha Nagar; 51 each in Meerut and Bareilly; 47 each in Jhansi and Baghpat; 40 in Kanpur Nagar; 36 each in Ballia, Gorakhpur and Moradabad; 29 in Varanasi; 28 in Prayagraj; 27 in Muzaffarnagar; and 26 in Barabanki.
The 18 new deaths included three in Kanpur Nagar, two in Varanasi and one each in Gautam Buddh Nagar, Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Firozabad, Moradabad, Rampur, Aligarh, Prayagraj, Mathura, Bareilly, Etawah, Mirzapur and Hamirpur. In total, Agra has the highest Covid-related deaths (93) while Meerut is a close second (89).
The state has 9,514 active cases, and 19,627 patients have been discharged. The recovery rate is pegged at 65.49 per cent.
In a first, the state on Monday touched the 30,000 per day testing figure with 30,329 samples, taking the total to above 9.22 lakh.
At present, there are 9,530 patients in isolation wards and 4,044 in facility quarantine.
Talking to the media earlier in the day, Principal Secretary (health) Amit Mohan Prasad said that there has been a significant increase in the number of cases after the unlockdown, and people working in closed spaces need to be extra cautious.
He added that the state government plans to increase the fine for not wearing mask to Rs 500 as some are taking the virus lightly.
“When we go to public places, maintaining social distancing is very important. Since the unlockdown, we have seen a big increase in the number of new cases. People are being infected mainly from places where they sit closely. For example, we saw that employees in several call centres tested positive. Similar was the case in many private offices, including media houses. Therefore, it is very important that when work resumes, we have to be extra cautious,” said Prasad.
“People have not been following the rules of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing these days. They think that the danger is over since all the things have resumed. That is not true. The danger is still very much there. In fact, the infection spread is wider now… This is the reason we have now decided to make changes in the rule and make a fresh order increasing the fine amount for stepping out without masks to Rs 500 even for a first offence,” he added.
Besides, CM Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday pitched for increasing testing facilities, saying 30,000 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR) tests should be done everyday. He also directed officials to make people aware of the need to avoid unnecessary movement and suggested that the Health Department increase fines on those not wearing masks.
Addressing an unlock review meeting with senior officials and ministers, he said besides rapid antigen tests, 30,000 RTPCR tests should be done everyday, an official release here said.
The chief minister expressed satisfaction over establishment of over 33,000 COVID help desks.
Meanwhile, a barrack in the district jail of Bahraich was sealed after an undertrial was found positive for coronavirus, officials said here on Tuesday.
Jail Superintendent of AN Tripathi said that random sampling of 10 inmates was done.
“One inmate lodged in the jail since 2016 was found positive on Monday. He has been admitted to the hospital where he will be tested again. He is asymptomatic,” he said. All 150 inmates in the barrack have been quarantined and the barrack has been sealed. “The jail official and staff who came in contact with these 150 prisoners will undergo the Covid-19 test,” he said.
WITH PTI inputs
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