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Friday, April 23, 2021

Coronavirus India Highlights: Covid spreading at a fast pace, says Health Ministry

Coronavirus Highlights: NITI Aayog Member Dr V K Paul said the pandemic situation has worsened with a sharp rise in cases and a large part of the population is still susceptible to the virus.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Guwahati, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: April 7, 2021 9:43:26 am
The official health bulletin pegged the number of Covid tests at 7,017, of which 5,879 were RT-PCR tests while 1,138 were antigen tests. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra/File)

The Centre on Tuesday said that an increase in the intensity of the pandemic has led Covid to spread at a faster pace than last year and that the next four weeks are very critical. At a press conference, NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr V K Paul said the pandemic situation in the country has worsened with a sharp rise in cases and a large part of the population is still susceptible to the virus.

LIVE UPDATES | Coronavirus in India: Latest news and updates, April 7

Meanwhile, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the Centre is concerned about Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab as they have been reporting the maximum number of fresh cases and deaths in the country. He further informed that the Centre has asked the state governments to ramp up RT-PCR tests after it noticed that only 60% of the tests were done using the method in Maharashtra last week.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi government imposed a night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am till April 30 in the wake of rising cases. A proposal to bring back the curfew was sent to the Chief Minister’s office on Monday after several discussions within the government over the sharp rise in Covid-19 cases. Officials also took into account large gatherings at restaurants and clubs at night. (Here’s the full list of who all are exempted in Delhi)

This comes after India, on Monday, reported 96,982 fresh coronavirus cases and 446 related deaths. Of these, 47,288 cases were reported in Maharashtra. While cases in Chhattisgarh scaled a new high of 7,302, and the count in Karnataka crossed the 5,000-mark. The country’s active case tally now stands at 7,88,223. While 164 people died in Maharashtra, 72 deceased in Punjab. The country’s cumulative count climbed up to 1,26,86,049, while the death toll stands at 1,65,547. Over 43 lakh people were also inoculated on Monday, pushing the vaccination count up to 8,31,10,926.

Live Blog

India records over 96,000 new cases; Night curfew imposed in Delhi; Maharashtra lockdown and curfew restrictions come into effect; Pune and Mumbai worst-hit cities in Maharashtra.

22:23 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Maharashtra govt has imposed undeclared lockdown: Devendra Fadnavis

The state government’s restrictions amount to undeclared lockdown, which has not gone well with small traders and ordinary people as such restrictions have raised questions about livelihood, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray should therefore hold discussions with all concerned sectors and come out with revised guidelines to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, he added.

21:28 (IST)06 Apr 2021
With 6,150 new cases, Karnataka sees highest single-day spike 

Karnataka Tuesday reported 6,150 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, which is the highest single-day spike in the state this year. Bengaluru alone contributed 4,266 fresh cases. The state also reported 39 fatalities, taking the death toll to 12,696, while Bengaluru reported 26 deaths related to Covid-19.

The total number of infections has reached 10.26 lakh and the death toll to 12,696, according to the Karnataka health department. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, 3,487 patients got discharged after recovery.

“Cumulatively 10,26,584 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 12,696 deaths and 9,68,762 discharges,” the health department said in a bulletin. More details here.

20:39 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Rajasthan reports 2,236 COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths

Rajasthan reported 2,236 new COVID-19 cases and 13 fatalities on Tuesday, taking the state's infection tally to 3,43,990 and the death toll to 2,854.

Five deaths were reported from Jodhpur, two each from Kota and Jhalawar and one fatality each was registered in Chittorgarh, Dungarpur, Rajsamand and Udaipur, according to an official report here.

Jaipur reported the highest number of 413 new cases, followed by Udaipur with 367 and Jodhpur with 201.

A total of 3,24,996 COVID-19 patients have recovered from the disease so far, and the number of active cases at present is 16,140, the report said. (PTI)

19:26 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Over 600 new Covid-19 cases in Gurgaon, active case count crosses 3,500-mark

The number of active covid cases in Gurgaon crossed 3500 for the first time this year on Tuesday, with 604 more people testing positive for the infection.

Gurgaon now has 3612 active cases of coronavirus, of which 3355 are currently in home isolation. This is the second time in the last one week that Gurgaon has recorded more than 600 fresh cases of the infection in a single day – on April 3, 606 people had tested positive for the infection.

Gurgaon also recorded a new high in terms of the number of covid tests conducted on Tuesday, with 7151 samples being tested. This is the first time this year that the number of tests conducted in the district in a single day has crossed 7000. For the last three days, more than 6000 tests were being conducted in Gurgaon. (input by Sakshi Dayal)

19:16 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Will facilitate issuing of movement passes for those eligible: Delhi Police

Hours after night curfew was imposed in Delhi, the Delhi Police said they will facilitate issuing of movement passes for those who are eligible for it.

Additional PRO (Delhi Police) Anil Mittal said, “The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has ordered night curfew from 10 PM to 5 AM in view of rising incidents of Corona. An order to that effect has been issued today. Delhi Police will strictly enforce it except for the exempted categories mentioned in the order.  All concerned should strictly observe the restrictions as given in the DDMA order.”

“Delhi Police had earlier issued movement passes to facilitate the movement of persons engaged in essential services/commodities. Fresh movement passes will be issued on demand. Those requiring it and qualifying for it can also visit the Delhi Police Website to apply for it. All field functionaries will be available in their jurisdictions to enforce the DDMA order and to facilitate the exempted categories,” he said. 

(Input by Mahender Singh Manral)

18:55 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Karnataka reports over 6,000 new COVID-19 cases, 39 deaths

Karnataka logged over 6,000 fresh COVID-19 cases and 39 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 10.26 lakh and the toll to 12,696, the Health department said on Tuesday.

The day also saw 3,487 patients getting discharged after recovery. Out of the 6,150 fresh cases reported on Tuesday, 4,266 cases were from Bengaluru Urban alone.

Cumulatively 10,26,584 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 12,696 deaths and 9,68,762 discharges, the Health department said in a bulletin.

Out of 45,107 active cases, 44,756 patients are stable and in isolation at designated hospitals, while 351 are in Intensive Care Units. (PTI)

18:48 (IST)06 Apr 2021
COVID-19 spreading at fast pace, next 4 weeks critical: Centre

COVID-19 is spreading at a fast pace with an increase in the intensity of the pandemic and the next four weeks are going to be very critical, the Centre said on Tuesday as it stressed on people's participation to control the second wave of the contagion.

At a press conference, NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr V K Paul said the pandemic situation in the country worsened with a sharp rise in cases and a large part of the population is still susceptible to the virus. 

The tools to fight the pandemic remain the same. COVID-appropriate behaviour, containment measures, testing have to be implemented more efficiently, medical infrastructure has to be ramped up and vaccination drive intensified, he said.

COVID-appropriate behaviour like wearing masks, staying away from crowds have to be followed in a campaign mode, Paul reminded people.

"The intensity of the pandemic has increased and it is spreading faster than last time. In some states, it (the condition) is worse than others but the upswing (in cases) can be observed across the country," he said.

"People's participation is vital to control the second wave. The next four weeks are going to very critical. The entire country has to come together and make efforts to fight the pandemic." (PTI)

18:43 (IST)06 Apr 2021
DMK MP Kanimozhi reaches polling booth wearing a PPE kit

Wearing PPE suit, DMK MP Kanimozhi, who tested positive for Covid-19 a couple of days ago, reached the polling booth in Mylapore to cast her vote. 

18:41 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Tamil Nadu adds 3,645 new COVID-19 infections, 15 deaths

Tamil Nadu logged 3,645 new infections on Tuesday pushing the caseload to 9,07,124, while the death toll rose to 12,804 with 15 more fatalities, the health department said.

According to a department bulletin, recoveries mounted to 8,68,722 today with 1,809 patients being discharged, leaving 25,598 active infections.

Chennai accounted for most of the new infections with 1,303 cases, taking the aggregate to 2,56,359.

The metropolis also leads in the number of fatalities with 4,280.

A total of 80,856 samples were tested on Tuesday, pushing the cumulative number of specimens examined to 2,00,93,091. (PTI)

18:03 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Katrina Kaif tests positive for COVID-19

Actor Katrina Kaif on Tuesday said she has tested positive for COVID-19 and is under home quarantine. Kaif, 37, took to her Instagram Story and requested those who came in contact with her to also get themselves tested. 

"I have tested positive for Covid-19. Have immediately isolated myself and will be under home quarantine. I'm following all safety protocols under the advice of my doctors.

"Requesting everyone who came in contact with me to get tested immediately too. Grateful for all your love and support. Please stay safe and take care," Kaif wrote. (PTI)

17:22 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Over 12 lakh people vaccinated in Delhi

Over 12 lakh people from Delhi have been vaccinated against Covid-19, said Health Minister Satyendra Jain on Tuesday. A total of 87,673 beneficiaries were vaccinated on Monday, of which 23,737 received their shot at the private facilities while the remaining 63,936 got inoculated at the government-run centres.

“More than 12 lakh people have been given the vaccination in Delhi so far. Even on Monday, the government centres utilised 95% of available slots whereas it was 67% in private hospitals. People are preferring government facilities for vaccination over private hospitals and the majority are going to government hospitals unlike before,” Jain said. More details here.

16:56 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Centre urges employees aged 45 yrs and above to get vaccinated

Centre has issued an order advising all its employees aged 45 years and above to get themselves vaccinated to contain the spread of Covid-19.

16:30 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Seven of top 10 districts having most active cases are from Maharashtra: Union Health Secretary

Of the top 10 districts having most of active Covid cases, seven districts are from Maharashtra, one from Karnataka, Chhattisgarh & Delhi each. Death numbers being reported in Punjab and Chhattisgarh are cause of extreme concern. Of all the active cases in the country, 58% of active cases are in Maharashtra. 34% of the total deaths have been reported in Maharashtra: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan. (ANI)

16:19 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Delhi not considering lockdown, focus on alternative measures to control Covid surge: Gopal Rai

Delhi government is not considering a lockdown to control the surge in Covid-19 infections, Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai said on Tuesday, hours after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal approved a proposal to impose night curfew in the national capital till April end.

Addressing the media, Rai said the government is looking at alternative solutions to control the spread of the virus and is not dependent on night curfew alone, which will be imposed between 10 pm to 5 am from Tuesday night. (Read Shivam Patel's report)

16:17 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Mortality among young and mid-age group is a cause of concern: Karnataka Minister

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Tuesday expressed concern over mortality among the young and mid-age groups due to COVID-19, amid a spike in cases, and has sought for a death audit from expert doctors to know the reasons. He also said the second wave of the pandemic was spreading faster than the first wave.

"Yesterday there has been an increase in cases.For the first time in the last six months 5,279 fresh cases were reported. More than 1 lakh cases have been reported in the country in the last 24 hours, and the mortality rate is also increasing. In the state also it was up with 32 deaths yesterday," Sudhakar said. Speaking to reporters here, he said mortality among middle aged and young people was a serious matter of concern.

"The deaths yesterday included youths of age 25, also 35 and 40 year-olds, this has caused concern. So I have asked the technical advisory committee and a panel of expert doctors for a death audit to be done, to know the exact reason for deaths," he added. (PTI)

16:16 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Traders in Nagpur protest against Maha govt's Covid-19 curbs

Traders and shopkeepers from major markets of Nagpur took to the streets to protest the Maharashtra government's new COVID-19 curbs, directing shops and establishments selling non-essential commodities to remain closed till April 30.

As per the state government's guidelines to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission, shops and businesses that don't sell essential goods and services will have to down their shutters till April 30. Traders and shopkeepers from Itwari, Gandhibagh and Jaripatka markets came out on roads and raised slogans against the state government order. (PTI)

15:25 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Mumbai Indians talent scout Kiran More tests positive for Covid-19

Former India wicketkeeper and Mumbai Indians' talent scout Kiran More has tested positive for Covid-19, the IPL franchise said on Tuesday. The 58-year-old More is also the wicket-keeping consultant of the five-time IPL champions. "More is currently asymptomatic and has been isolated. Mumbai Indians and Kiran More have followed all the BCCI health guidelines," MI stated in a media release.

"The MI medical team will continue to monitor Mr. More's health and abide by the BCCI protocols." Among the players and support staff, Delhi Capitals' all-rounder Axar Patel has tested positive and is in isolation. (PTI)

15:03 (IST)06 Apr 2021
70 new cases push Assam's Covid-19 tally to 2,18,740

Assam's Covid-19 tally has mounted to 2,18,740 as the state reported this year's highest single-day spike of 70 fresh cases, a health bulletin said. The daily fresh cases, which had dipped to below 30 in the last three months, is showing an upward trend since the last week of March.

Two fresh fatalities pushed the state's coronavirus death toll to 1,109, while 1,347 patients have died so far due to other reasons, it said. Kamrup Metropolitan district reported the highest number of new cases at 70, followed by nine in Kamrup and seven in Nagaon. (PTI)

13:12 (IST)06 Apr 2021
Mumbai civic body restricts entry of people at its offices

In the wake of a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has restricted the entry of people at its headquarters and other offices in the city. Except for public representatives and citizens who have urgent work or meetings scheduled, no other visitor will be allowed to enter the BMC offices, as per a circular issued by the civic body on Monday.

In exceptional cases, the department heads should issue entry passes to people on the basis of their negative RT-PCR test reports of less than 48 hours, said the circular. Civic officials have been asked to make provisions for accepting letters and representations at the entry gates of the BMC headquarters in south Mumbai and its other offices here, it said. (PTI)

12:55 (IST)06 Apr 2021
IMA urges PM Modi to open Covid vaccination for all above 18 years

Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country, the Indian Medical Association has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting that vaccination be allowed for all people above the age of 18 years. The daily rise in new coronavirus infections in India remained above 90,000 for the third consecutive day on Tuesday taking the nationwide Covid-19 tally of cases to 1,26,86,049, according to the Union Health Ministry. The country had a day ago reported 1,03,558 new cases.

"At present, we are vaccinating the population above 45 years. In view of the rapid spread of the second wave of the disease, we suggest that our vaccination strategy be geared up with immediate effect and on war footing," the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said in its letter to the prime minister. (PTI)

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Dr Guleria: 'Need strategies on what to do despite people not following Covid norms'

As India grapples with a second wave of Covid-19 cases, Dr Randeep Guleria has been central to the country’s disease response. As head of clinical research group of the national Covid-19 task force, he is instrumental in framing treatment policies. In an Idea Exchange with The Indian Express, the AIIMS chief says vaccination will open up but “gradually”, advises caution over theories regarding re-infection, addresses the “Bihar paradox” when polls did not see a surge, and says approvals for vaccination in children must be fast-tracked.

"I think the numbers are worrying… Firstly, this wave is much steeper than what we have seen in the past. It has taken much less time to cross the 80,000 cases per day mark this time. Secondly, the degree of fear or panic that was there when we had crossed the 80,000-mark last time does not seem to exist today. There is no Covid-appropriate behaviour. Despite the numbers crossing the 80,000-mark, people are planning holidays, hotels are full at all hill stations. So that is worrying. We don’t have data which suggests that we have a good degree of immunity. A majority of our population is susceptible and we are also seeing new variants of the virus now, which we know can be more infectious. They can also develop ‘immune escape’, which may allow some degree of reinfections."

An Expert Explains: Lessons and challenges after a year with the coronavirus

Family and friends often call to know which of the two Covid-19 vaccines available in India is better. My advice to take whichever is easily available is met with apprehensions about adverse effects of vaccines. This is symptomatic of the past year, a year full of half-truths, false claims and often outright lies that became more viral than the virus itself. While it has been a remarkable year for science and the value it brought to society, there is little understanding of the scientific method, which relies on data and evidence.

As India approaches one year of its lockdown, I review the year gone by and attempt some cautious crystal gazing into what lies ahead.

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
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