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Coronavirus Highlights: Over 300 districts showing decline in case positivity, says Health Ministry

Coronavirus Highlights: Today's Covid numbers –– Delhi (3231 cases), Mumbai (1425 cases), Bengaluru (9409), Kolkata (3461 cases), Chennai (6073 cases)

By: Express Web Desk | Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: May 21, 2021 9:50:57 am
Relatives mourn the death of a Covid-19 patient in New Delhi. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

The number of districts reporting a decline in case positivity increased from 210 in April 29-May 5 to 303 districts in May 13-19, the Health Ministry said on Thursday. It also said seven states have more than 25 per cent case positivity, while 22 states have more than 15 per cent case positivity.

The country recorded 3,874 deaths, pushing the overall toll to 2,87,122. On Wednesday, India had recorded its highest single-day death toll with 4,529 fatalities.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said India will have procured 267 crore Covid vaccine doses by the end of this year, and will be in a position to inoculate at least all of its adult population, according to an official statement.  The minister said that 51 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses will be made available by July and 216 crore more between August and December. He urged states to ensure that the healthcare and frontline workers are fully vaccinated, as they form the vulnerable categories. There is a need to strengthen testing facilities in peri-urban and rural areas, the statement said.

The Union Health Ministry Wednesday said that those who have got infected with Covid-19 after getting their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine should defer the second dose by 3 months after clinical recovery. The Health Ministry also recommended Covid-19 vaccination for all lactating women.

Live Blog

Coronavirus India: As black fungus cases rise, Delhi hospitals report drug crunch; Those infected after first vaccine dose should defer second dose by three months, says Centre; Read latest news and updates below:

23:10 (IST)20 May 2021

As Covid-19 cases continued to drop in Gujarat with 4,773 new cases and 64 deaths in a day, the state resumed its vaccination drive starting Thursday, administering 1.37 lakh doses. 
As many as 46,672 doses were administered in the 18-44 age group across 10 districts, as per the state health bulletin.
Ahmedabad recorded 1,106 new cases, the lowest since April 8, even as testing dropped to 18,000-odd samples a day. Test positivity on Wednesday for Ahmedabad stood at 7.2 per cent. 
Even as overall cases declined, districts of Anand and Kutch showed no sign of relief. Anand reported 161 new cases and one death, while Kutch reported 134 new cases and one death. 
In Kutch, of the 235 high flow nasal cannula, ventilator and BiPAP equipped beds, 204 are occupied at present, as per the district dashboard. Anand continues to see full occupancy at three of its key hospitals — Shree Krishna Hospital in Karamsad (514), sub-district hospital at Petlad (62) and Apara Hospital in Anand (130). ENS

22:54 (IST)20 May 2021
Eight die of black fungus in Haryana; 316 cases in state

Eight people have died of black fungus in Haryana as the state has so far reported 316 cases of the deadly infection, officials said on Thursday.

Of the total cases, the maximum 114 have been recorded in Gurgaon, followed by 45 in Sirsa, 42 in Faridabad, 31 in Hisar and 20 in Rohtak, they said. Forty-eight fresh cases of black fungus were reported in Haryana on Thursday, the officials said.

With cases of black fungus or mucormycosis in the state on the rise, a meeting regarding management of the disease was held under the chairmanship of Health Minister Anil Vij on Thursday. ---PTI

22:41 (IST)20 May 2021
Gujarat declares mucormycosis as ‘epidemic’ after Centre’s order

The Gujarat government on Tuesday declared mucormycosis (black fungus infection) reported among Covid-19 patients as an “epidemic” and made it a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act.

The decision comes following a Union health ministry communication dated May 19 to all states and Union territories requesting all to declare it a “notifiable disease”.

As a notifiable disease, all government and private hospitals, and medical colleges will have to follow the guidelines issued by the ICMR and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with respect to the screening, diagnosis and management of the disease.

It will be mandatory for these facilities to report all suspected and confirmed cases to state health department through district Chief Medical Officer and subsequently to Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) system. Read more

22:38 (IST)20 May 2021
Pune Municipal Corporation begins drive to register transgender persons for Covid-19 vaccination

In a joint effort by the social justice department and the PMC, a preliminary drive has begun to register transgender persons willing to get the Covid-19 vaccination.

Bindumadhav Khire, founder of Samapathik Trust, said he had started reaching out to transgenders to understand their willingness to be vaccinated.

Khire said the pandemic had had an adverse impact on the transgender community, as most earned a livelihood through either sex work or begging, and lockdown and restrictions made this difficult.

Charitable institutions and individuals had come forward to provide help, while the state government had also announced financial help, Khire said, adding that work to create a database of transgender individuals was on, which will help transfer financial aid to them. Read more

22:33 (IST)20 May 2021
Pune: Vaccination to resume in some private hospitals tomorrow

Covid-19 vaccinations at some private hospitals in Pune will resume on Friday. Ruby Hall Clinic, Jehangir Hospital and Noble Hospital are among some of the major hospitals that received their supply of Covishield doses on Thursday.

Bomi Bhote, CEO of Ruby Hall Clinic, said the hospital has received 25,000 doses, of which 5,000 doses will be sent to the Hinjewadi branch of the hospital while 2,000 doses will be sent to the Wanowrie branch. The rest of the doses will remain at the main centre at Station Road. Read more

22:27 (IST)20 May 2021
Over 92% of hospitalised Covid patients in Himachal under critical care or oxygen support

Over 92 per cent Covid patients admitted in Covid health centres and hospitals in Himachal Pradesh are either under critical care or on oxygen support, according to health officials.

There are currently around 32,000 active Covid patients in the state, most of whom are in home isolation. Around 2,250 patients are more severely ill and admitted in 53 dedicated Covid hospitals and health centres.

Only 180 of the admitted patients are on ordinary beds. More than 1,800 patients are on oxygen support, and around 240 patients are admitted in intensive care units (ICUs). Read more

21:57 (IST)20 May 2021
Goa reports 1,582 fresh Covid cases

Goa reports 1,582 new COVID-19 cases, 44 fatalities. Infection tally rises to 1,41,567, death toll 2,272. The state now has 20,808 active cases of the disease. --- PTI

21:50 (IST)20 May 2021
Covid-19: Karnataka govt denies Siddaramaiah permission to hold meeting with district officials

The Karnataka government on Thursday denied permission to the Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah to conduct meetings with the senior district administration officials including district commissioners of all districts in the state regarding Covid-19 management.

On Wednesday, Siddaraaiah had written a letter to the chief secretary asking him to direct all deputy commissioners, police superintendents, and health officers of various districts to attend the zoom meeting and provide information regarding measures taken for Covid-19 management in their respective districts starting Friday.

Siddaramaiah’s request follows after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held a virtual meeting with Karnataka district commissioners on Covid-19 management. Read more

21:49 (IST)20 May 2021
Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board donates Rs crore to CM's relief fund

Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board donates Rs 25 crore to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund to strengthen the state government's fight against COVID-19. --- PTI

21:30 (IST)20 May 2021
Bharat Biotech to ramp up Covaxin production by additional 200 million doses: Company statement
21:07 (IST)20 May 2021
Himachal reports 2,648 fresh Covid cases

Himachal Pradesh reports 2,648 COVID-19 cases, 65 fatalities. Infection tally rises to 1,72,722, death toll to 2,581. The state has 33,448 active cases of the disease. --- PTI

20:53 (IST)20 May 2021
Bengal records 19,091 new Covid cases

West Bengal recorded 19,091 new Covid cases and 162 deaths on Thursday. Of the total, Kolkata reported 3461 new cases and 36 deaths.

20:48 (IST)20 May 2021
Maharashtra reports 29,911 new Covid cases

Maharashtra reports 29,911 new Covid cases.

20:46 (IST)20 May 2021
Karnataka reports 548 new Covid-19 deaths

Karnataka reported 548 new Covid-19 deaths, 326 in Bengaluru (Urban & Rural) alone.

20:07 (IST)20 May 2021
Mumbai records 1,425 fresh cases, 59 deaths
20:03 (IST)20 May 2021
Tamil Nadu records 35,579 Covid-19 cases and 397 deaths

Tamil Nadu recorded 35,579 positive cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the state tally to 17,34,804. Among these, Chennai reported 6,073 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 4,62,448.

The state recorded 397 deaths on Thursday, putting the state toll at 19,131. 300 of them had succumbed due to comorbidities. A total of 25,369 patients were discharged following treatment, taking the total number of recoveries to 14,52,283. 

19:33 (IST)20 May 2021
Experts divided over unhygienic masks being contributing factor for black fungus

Amid a rise in black fungus cases particularly in COVID patients in Delhi, some medical experts feel that 'unhygienic masks' and poorly ventilated rooms could be a contributing factor, while others said 'no clinical evidence' has been established linking the two.
    
Doctors at many leading hospitals here said many patients, both COVID and non-COVID ones, have presented themselves at the facilities who have been infected with mucormycosis or black fungus and had a history of exhibiting poor hygienic practices, including wearing unwashed masks for a long time.
    
According to Dr Suresh Singh Naruka, senior consultant, ENT, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, the primary factor is 'irrational use of steroids'.
    
'Second, I would reckon is unhygienic practices, like wearing masks over a long time without washing them, or staying in a poorly ventilated rooms such as a basement, or less airy rooms. So, I would say, the second factor is also a trigger point for contractor mucormycosis,' he said. --- PTI

19:24 (IST)20 May 2021
Kerala logs 30,491 new COVID-19 cases, 128 deaths, 44,369 recoveries

Kerala on Thursday reported 30,491 new COVID-19 cases and 128 more deaths, taking the caseload to 22,33, 904 and the toll to 6,852, the state government said.
      
As many as 44,369 persons have been cured,pushing the total recoveries to 19,38,887, while 3,17,850 are undergoing treatment for the infection.
      
In the last 24 hours, 1,31,525 samples were tested and the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) was 23.18 per cent.
      
So far 1,84,21,465 samples have been tested. Malappuram reported 4,746 cases, the highest, followed by Thiruvananthapuram 3,969. Ernakulam and Kollam also reported over 3,000 cases.

Of the new cases, 101 are health workers, 172 had come from outside the state and 28,176 were infected through contact. As many as 9,99,338 persons are under quarantine, including 38,685 in hospitals. --- PTI

19:18 (IST)20 May 2021
Andhra Pradesh 22,610 fresh Covid cases

Andhra Pradesh reports 22,610 new COVID-19 cases, 114 fatalities, and 23,098 recoveries. Infection tally rises to 15,21,142 and the death toll to 9,800. Number of active cases of the disease in the state stands at 2,09,134. --- PTI 

18:37 (IST)20 May 2021
Less than a day's stock of Covishield left for 18-44 age group: Delhi AAP MLA Atishi

Less than a day's stock of Covishield left for 18-44 age group and half of the vaccination centres to be shut from Friday in Delhi, says AAP MLA Atishi. She also said Delhi will receive 50,000 doses of Covishield for 45-plus age group on Thursday. ---PTI

Volunteers of a NGO distribute ration at Budhwarpeth in Pune on Monday. (Express Photo: Pavan Khengre)

The government on Tuesday said that around 200 districts have been reporting a decline in cases for the last two weeks and, after consistently increasing for the past 13 weeks, the country’s overall case positivity has registered a decline over the past seven days. The “pandemic curve is stabilising”, and the reproduction number (R) has now fallen below 1, Dr V K Paul, head of India’s Covid-19 Task Force, said. “This means the pandemic is shrinking overall,” he added.

Asking field officials to be “more vigilant” amid a dip in Covid-19 cases in some states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that while the pandemic has posed a “big challenge”, the country’s “response should be unprecedented”. Interacting with state and district officials, including District Magistrates, on Covid-19 management, the Prime Minister said, “Corona numbers are decreasing in some states; in others they are going up. There is a need to be more vigilant in the face of this drop in cases.”

Meanwhile, Delhi reported 4,482 cases, the lowest since April 5, and 265 fatalities on Tuesday while the positivity rate dropped to 6.89 per cent. On the other hand, there are 953 cases in Mumbai, 8,676 cases in Bengaluru, 6,016 cases in Chennai and 3,785 cases in Kolkata.

In a recently released media statement, Serum Institute of India has stated that it has never exported vaccines at the cost of people in India and remains committed to supporting the vaccination drive in the country. “A vaccination drive for such large population can’t be completed within 2-3 months, as several factors & challenges are involved. It’d take 2-3 yrs for entire world population to get fully vaccinated,” SII stated.

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