Almost a week after Uttar Pradesh recorded the steepest jump in coronavirus cases, the state recorded another high of 762 new infections on Friday, taking the total Covid count in the state close to 21,000.
Gautam Buddh Nagar or Noida led the surge with 136 new cases in the last 24 hours, followed by another NCR district Ghaziabad which reported 89 new cases. The total number of positive cases in Noida has reached close to 2,000 – the highest in the state —with 887 active cases.
Adjoining Meerut saw 45 new cases, while capital Lucknow, which has seen a recent spike in infection reported 52 new cases and one death. Meerut also reported three deaths, taking the toll in the district to 79.
At least 19 more people died of coronavirus , taking the Covid death count in the state to 630. Two more died in Etawah, which reported 15 new cases.
Notably, the highest number of patients discharged in the last 24 hours were reported from Lucknow where 69 patients recovered, followed by 36 in Kanpur Nagar, 27 in Jaunpur and 26 in Bulandshahr.
Additional Chief Secretary, Medical and Health, Amit Mohan Prasad said that 13,583 people have so far been discharged from hospitals across the state after recovering from the infection, leaving 6,730 active cases. The districts with the highest number of active cases were Gautam Buddh Nagar with 887, Ghaziabad with 648, Lucknow with 383 and Kanpur Nagar with 325.
He also said 19,387 samples were tested for coronavirus on Thursday. “Till now, the state has tested 6.43 lakh samples,” he said, adding 1,960 pools have been tested till now with 1,778 pools of five samples each, and 182 pools with 10 samples each.
Meanwhile, the state government has told the Allahabad High Court that it will begin using rapid test kits to detect coronavirus across the state as soon as possible. The court issued directions to the state on Thursday, asking it to implement antigen testing in all districts.
The order followed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea seeking a better handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar also asked the UP Police chief to ensure wearing of masks and social distancing in the state.
On Tuesday, the state government had said in Lucknow that it has received the antigen test kits and planned to begin using them from Wednesday, focusing on six districts.
During the hearing, Additional Advocate General said the state government has increased the number of tests from 17,000 to 20,000 per day during the past week.
The court expressed appreciation for what the state government’s efforts to contain coronavirus. “In the end, we would like to record a word of appreciation for the state of UP and for the district administration for having brought palpable changes within the last one week in the testing, tracking and treatment of patients,” it said.
It has fixed July 9 as the next date of hearing.
In Lucknow, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asked officials to ensure setting up of helpdesks in all government and private hospitals to assist people.
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