For the third straight day, Uttar Pradesh reported the highest single-day fatalities with 24 more coronavirus-afflicted patients’ deaths, taking the total toll to 345. On Tuesday, the state had reported 18 deaths, followed by 21 on Wednesday. Of the total 345 deaths, 200 were reported since last Wednesday.
Among the fresh deaths Meerut recorded the highest with five, followed by four in Kanpur Nagar, three each in Agra and Ghaziabad, and one each in Moradabad, Aligarh, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Azamgarh, Bijnor, Badaun, Jhansi and Hathras.
Agra has registered highest fatalities with 58 deaths, followed by 45 in Meerut. Next is Kanpur Nagar with 22 fatalities, Aligarh with 19, Firozabad with 18 and Ghaziabad with 17 deaths.
The cumulative Covid-19 cases also rose to 12,088 with 480 cases reported in the last 24 hours – another fastest addition of 1,000 cases in just two days.
At least, 7,292 of those infected (60.32 per cent) have been discharged from hospitals, leaving 4,451 active cases of infection in the state till Thursday.
With an addition of 48 new cases, Kanpur Nagar became the third district after Agra and Noida to have crossed the 600 mark.
Among the top six affected districts, Agra has recorded 999 cases, Noida 788, Kanpur Nagar 604, Meerut 585, Ghaziabad 554 and Lucknow has recorded 512 positive cases in total.
Taking the seriousness of the situation into account, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed officials to give “special emphasis to health services in 10 districts of the state” – Agra, Meerut, Aligarh, Moradabad, Kanpur Nagar, Firozabad, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Gautam Buddh Nagar and Basti – and said steps should be taken on priority to improve these facilities, if needed.
In a meeting with senior officials, the Chief Minister said reports should be taken from district magistrates and chief medical officers of the 10 districts where “health services were not up to expectations” and steps should be taken steps on a priority basis to improve them. Mortality rate should be checked, he added.
The Chief Minister also asked for a medical review of the deaths from coronavirus infection so as to improve its treatment. He called for making the surveillance system more effective by further activating the monitoring committees in rural and urban areas.
The government has also decided to start random testing of people from Friday. Though the Union health ministry and the UP government have denied community transmission of coronavirus, UP Principal Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said that targeted sampling of people in old-age homes, juvenile homes, orphanage, hospitals, pharmacists, delivery boys, hospital staff and others would help “to know the ground reality of the spread of infection”.
“From Friday ,we would be doing random sampling in old-age homes, women shelters, orphanages, juvenile homes all over the state. The next day, we would take samples from urban slums to check the infection there. In days after that we plan to test delivery boys, newspaper vendors and milkman etc. Staffs in hospitals, pharmacists and all are also in our list. This is in addition to the normal routine of contact tracing and sampling,” Prasad said.
“Only recently, we had surveyed 72 villages in 18 districts with highest inter-state migrant intake and sampled more than 1600 random people to check if there is any infection spread caused by the migrants. We found that there was no infection spread and our Nigrani Samitis were very effective. In the same sequence we are now going to start a one week long campaign of targeted sampling. Our plan is to test those who are vulnerable and those who is very mobile,” he added.
With the daily testing now reaching 15,000 samples – 16,032 tests were conducted on Thursday, the highest so far in the state — the Chief Minister expressed satisfaction over the rise in testing capacity, and said this should be increased further.
Earlier on Wednesday, the state tested more than 15000 samples after all the 75 districts in the state were equipped by the TrueNat machines. With this Antenatal Care (ANC), pre-surgical and Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) cases may be tested for Covid-19 at all districts now.
Prasad said accredited social health activists (ASHAs) were visiting villages to trace migrants who have returned from other parts of the country and till now over 15 lakh migrant workers have been tracked. Samples of those who had symptoms have been sent for testing, he said.
The state government’s 1.15 lakh surveillance teams have surveyed 88 lakh homes.
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