Coronavirus India Updates: Around 14-25 lakh coronavirus cases have been averted in India due to strict lockdown that was imposed on March 25, the Health Ministry said on Friday, adding that approximately 37,000 to 78,000 lives have been saved as well. India’s coronavirus cases, as on Friday, stand at 1,18,447 with 3,583 deaths. The total figure includes 48,533 people who have recovered from the virus or discharged. Follow Covid LIVE updates
The Covid-19 mortality rate has dropped from 3.13 per cent on May 19 to 3.02 per cent as focus was on containment measures and clinical management of cases, Joint Secretary in the health ministry Lav Agarwal said. The state worst-hit by the coronavirus is Maharashtra that accounts for a third of all cases in the country, recording 41,642 cases and 1,454 deaths.
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan was elected as the Chairman of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board, earlier in the day. “The pandemic has made humanity acutely aware of the consequences of ignoring the strengthening and preparedness of our healthcare systems. In such times of global crisis, risk management and mitigation would require further strengthening of global partnerships to re-energize interest and investment in global public health,” Vardhan said on assuming his post.
Here are the top developments of COVID-19 in India:
Mumbai allows liquor home delivery in non-containment zones
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has allowed home delivery of liquor in Mumba, barring the containment zones. “E-commerce platforms may be utilised by the liquor shops permitted to do home delivery,” said the BMC order. On the other hand, over-the-counter sale of liquor has not been allowed yet. Liquor sale was earlier completely banned in the city, which is worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
NHRC issues notice to UP govt in connection with Auraiya accident
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sent notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over reports that bodies of victims in the recent Auraiya road accident and those injured were being carried in the same vehicle by authorities, PTI quoted officials as saying.
In a statement, the Commission said it is indeed “unethical and inhuman on the part of authorities” to put the dead bodies in the same vehicle in which the injured migrant labourers were asked to travel. The public servants “failed to deal with the situation sensibly and acted in a cruel manner violating the right to dignity of the poor labourers,” it observed.
NHRC’s notice has been issued to the state’s chief secretary, who has been asked to submit a detailed report within four weeks.
About 14-25 lakh Covid-19 cases averted in India due to lockdown: Health Ministry
About 14-29 lakh coronavirus cases have been averted in India due to the countrywide lockdown that was imposed on March 25, while the number of lives saved is between 37,000 and 78,000, the Health Ministry said.
Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, and Chairman, Empowered Group 1 said at a media briefing that like the number of cases, the growth rate of number of COVID-19 deaths too has fallen significantly due to the lockdown, marking a notable difference between pre-lockdown and post-lockdown situations.
Citing model-based estimates on Covid-19 cases and deaths, he said as per Boston Consulting Group’s model, the lockdown saved between 1.2 lakh and 2.1 lakh lives, while the number of COVID-19 cases averted is between 36 lakh and 70 lakh. Citing a model by two independent economists, he said that around 23 lakh COVID-19 cases and 68,000 deaths have been averted due to the lockdown.
NDRF official tests Covid-19 positive, first case in federal contingency force
A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Sub-Inspector rank official has been tested positive for the coronavirus, officials told PTI. It is the first case detected in the federal contingency force. The Sub-Inspector was on leave and had visited a doctor with an ailment, after which his Covid test was done. The NDRF official has been admitted to an isolation ward in the Central Armed Police Forces’ (CAPFs) Referral hospital in Greater Noida on Thursday. The official is posted in the headquarters of the force in Delhi and was on deputation from the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), officials said.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan was elected as the Chairman of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board on Friday. He will be succeeding Dr Hiroki Nakatani, the adviser for international affairs to Japan’s Health Minister.
While the proposal to appoint Vardhan to the Executive Board was signed by the 194-member World Health Assembly on Tuesday, the WHO’s South East Asia bloc last year had unanimously decided to elect India’s nominee for a three-year term starting in May.
The 34-member Executive Board is one of the two of the WHO’s primary decision making bodies. Each member, qualified in the field of health, is appointed to the body for a period of three years. The Board chairman’s post is held by rotation for one year by each of the WHO’s six regional groups: African Region, Region of the Americas, South-East Asia Region, European Region, Eastern Mediterranean Region, and Western Pacific Region.
Starting Friday, when the state starts implementing new guidelines for designated red zones and non-red zones, Mumbai does not get any relaxations, barring the opening of non-essential shops from 9 am to 5 pm for non-commercial purpose of upkeep or maintenance of material, plant and machinery.
Also, pre-monsoon works at both public and private properties will be allowed to begin, but only with permission from the local ward office. The Maharashtra government had on Tuesday issued revised guidelines for lockdown 4.0, keeping in place most of the curbs for red zones.
23 more test positive in Nashik district; tally 890
With 23 more persons testing positive for coronavirus, the tally in Nashik district of Maharashtra has gone up to 890, officials said on Friday. These included 11 from Malegaon town and eight from Nashik city. The remaining four patients are from outside the district but they are undergoing treatment, according to an official statement issued by the local administration. All new reports came late Thursday night.
Tripura reschedules board examinations postponed due to lockdown
The Tripura government has rescheduled examinations of Madhyamik and Higher Secondary papers, earlier postponed by the Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE) in the wake of COVID-19 induced lockdown. Tripura education minister Ratan Lal Nath said while all examinations conducted by the state education board for candidates appearing with new syllabus in their Madhyamik exams were completed before lockdown, exams of few papers for old syllabus candidates were still left to be completed. Some papers of Higher Secondary (+2 stage) examinations were left as well.
“We have decided to reschedule these examinations and hold them from June 05. All these exams would start from 12 noon and continue till 3:15 PM,” he said.
Tripura has also identified two more coronavirus positive cases, raising the state’s total COVID cases to 175. However, only 25 cases are currently active among these. Unlike the bulk of COVID-19 positive cases among Border Security Force (BSF) jawans till now, these cases have come from civilians including those who have recently returned from other parts of the country.
Congress, BJP spar over Dhaman-1 ventilators in Gujarat
The Congress has alleged that the Gujarat government was playing with the lives of coronavirus patients to promote ‘Dhaman-1′ ventilators made by a firm `owned by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s friend’. The ruling BJP called the allegations leveled by the Congress on Thursday as baseless and said the opposition party was maligning the image of a local manufacturer.
On Wednesday, the Gujarat government had defended its decision to procure Dhaman-1 ventilators, claiming that they were as good as any other ventilator and certified by a centrally accredited laboratory. Rajkot-based firm Jyoti CNC developed Dhaman-1 brand of ventilators and donated 866 of them to the government in April at a time when there was an acute shortage of these machines following coronavirus outbreak, Principal Secretary, Health, Jayanti Ravi, told reporters on Wednesday.
AIIMS doctors planning to study how long coronavirus can survive in dead bodies
AIIMS doctors are contemplating autopsy of a COVID-19 victim to study how long the coronavirus can survive in a dead body and if it can transmit the infection, the Delhi hospital’s forensic chief said on Thursday. The study will also help ascertain how the virus affects the organs, Dr Sudhir Gupta said.
“It is going to be a first-of-its-kind exercise and thus has to be planned meticulously. It will help us understand how the virus behaves in the body and the way it affects the organs. Also, it will help us assess how long the novel coronavirus can survive in a dead body,” Dr Gupta explained.
With Chennai accounting for over 62 per cent Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, the state government has formed a team of over 2,500 volunteers to assist more than 30,000 health workers fighting the outbreak in the city.
Most cases in Chennai have been reported from slum areas and congested neighborhoods. The new plan focuses on these localities and aims to make government communication effective and to ensure passive surveillance of each household.
Till Thursday, Chennai reported 8,893 Covid-19 cases and 66 deaths. With a population density of over 25,000 per square kilometres, the testing rate in the city is 12,673 samples per million against the state rate of 4,070 and the national rate of 1,821.
Seven staffers of Delhi police wireless control room test positive for COVID-19
Seven staff posted at the Wireless Control Room of Delhi Police’s west district have tested positive for COVID-19 following which the district control room was shut on Thursday night, police said. A staff posted at the wireless control room of the west district tested positive for COVID-19 four days ago, following which samples of other staff were taken for testing.
“After seven staff posted at Wireless Control Room of West district were found positive for COVID-19, we had to shut down the operations from the office concerned by 8 pm. Thirty staff members are being sent for home isolation for the next five days,” a senior police officer said. Meanwhile, Mobile Control Room of the force will function as the west district control room, he said.
After negotiating for several days with private hospitals, the Maharashtra government Thursday night issued a notification taking over 80 per cent beds in private hospitals and nursing homes across the state. In Mumbai alone, this will open up around 4,400 hospital beds in the private sector. The city has been struggling with a shortage of beds to treat critically ill Covid-19 patients.
With 41,642 Covid-19 cases, Maharashtra accounts for a third of all cases in India. The notification covers hospitals run by charitable trusts, including all the big Mumbai hospitals such as H N Reliance, Lilavati, Breach Candy, Jaslok, Bombay Hospital, Bhatia, Wockhardt, Nanavati, Fortis, L H Hiranandani and P D Hinduja among others.
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