As the number of positive COVID-19 cases reached 433 with new 23 cases reported in the last 24 hours, the state government on Friday almost doubled the number of daily testing to prevent community spread of the novel coronavirus.
This comes at a time when the country has entered the crucial final week of the nationwide lockdown. As many as 40 of the total 75 districts are affected by coronavirus. The state is now focussing on the 35 districts unaffected by the virus.
According to the state government, the number of tests was increased to 1,300 in the last 24 hours from the daily average of 750. Principal Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said that in the coming days, the testing capacity can be increased to 1,500.
Of the 23 fresh cases, 21 are connected to the Tablighi Jamaat congregations in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area. This takes the total number of patients with Jamaat connection to 245 – more than 56 percent of the total. Six of the fresh cases were from Meerut, five each from Agra and Amroha, three from Hapur, and one each from Noida, Basti, Auraiya and Rampur.
At least 32 people have been discharged from hospitals as a 54-year-old man from Lakhimpur Kheri became the latest patient to recover. He was discharged from King George’s Medical University (KGMU) in Lucknow on Friday. Of the 32 recovered patients, 12 are from Noida, eight from Agra, five from Lucknow, three from Ghaziabad and one each from Kanpur, Shamli, Lakhimpur Kheri and Pilibhit. Lakhimpur Kheri District Magistrate Shailendra Kumar Singh said the patient was admitted to the hospital on March 16 as he tested positive days after his return from Turkey.
Maintaining the mortality rate at less than one percent, four patients, one each from Agra, Meerut, Basti and Varanasi have died of coronavirus.
“We have been increasing our testing in the state. Earlier, we were sending 150-200 samples, later increased it to 500 and then a little more. Yesterday, we sent more than 1,300 samples to labs. We plan to take the number to more than 1,500 samples every day,” said Prasad during his daily media briefing. As per the daily bulletin issued by the state Directorate of Health Services, so far 9,332 samples have been tested, of which 8,798 have returned negative. Results of 101 samples are awaited.
Meanwhile, State Surveillance Officer Vikasendu Agarwal claimed the state had increased its testing capacity to more than 2,000 samples daily as five more testing labs had got approval. The state has already set up nine coronavirus labs at King George’s Medical University (KGMU) in Lucknow, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Meerut Medical College, SGPGI of Medical Sciences in Lucknow, Command Hospital in Lucknow Cantonment area, Regional Medical Research Center (RMRC) Gorakhpur, Saifai Medical College and Jhansi Medical College. Fresh approvals have been issued to Moti Lal Nehru Medical College in Prayagraj, SN Medical College in Agra, Noida Super Specialty Hospital, RML Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow and IVRI in Bareilly.
Prasad confirmed that there were 9,442 isolation beds with 12,919 quarantine beds in the state. “There are 78 Level-1 COVID hospitals. For Level- 2 hospitals, we have notified 13 private hospitals and six government hospitals. We have 45 other government and private medical colleges with Level-2 facilities, but they are not dedicated COVID hospitals as they are treating non-COVID patients too. Under the Level- 3 category, we have six hospitals with 200 beds and critical care facilities along with availability of ventilators,” said Prasad, adding that the new six labs are distributed geographically all over the state.
Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi said the number of state-run shelters had reached 5,200 housing 1.25 lakh.
Over 42,000 FIRs
The state police has registered 13,208 FIRs against 42,359 people for violating lockdown guidelines, according to Awasthi. They have been booked under IPC section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant). Moreover, 344 FIRs have been registered. under the Essential Commodities (EC) Act and 436 people booked.
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