July 20, 2020 4:52:44 am
As Sunday reported another highest single-day jump (2,250) in Covid-19 patients, taking the cumulative number of infected people in Uttar Pradesh to 49,247, there is mounting concern over the rapid infection surge in districts, which, hitherto, were not considered big hotspots.
The week ending Sunday reported the highest addition in caseload – 12,771 – and also deaths – 212 – pushing the weekly average growth rate to 5%, an increase of 0.5 percentage point vis-a-vis last week. The doubling rate also narrowed from 16 to 14 days.
The week saw Lucknow adding bulk to the state’s caseload, more than the combined number of coronavirus cases reported in the two hotspots districts of NCR – Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad. Lucknow added 1,628 new cases last week, nearly 400 on Sunday alone, while Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida) added 822 and 734 new cases, respectively, in the last seven days.
With Lucknow now having the highest number of active cases in the state – the only district to have over 2,500 cases – Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has called a meeting to take stock of the situation in the state Capital.
The meeting will be attended by Divisional Commissioner, Police Commissioner, the Joint Commissioners, DM and the Municipal Commissioner for the assessment of the situation, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi said.
In the last 24 hours, at least five districts reported over 100 new cases. They were Lucknow (392), Kanpur Nagar (168), Gautam Buddh Nagar (125), Jhansi (100) and Prayagraj (100).
Notably, two among them – Jhansi with 1,156 cases and Prayagraj with 961 cases – have seen their caseload balloon by 105% and 63%, respectively, in one week. Jhansi and Prayagraj also have high fatality ratio. Till date, the two districts have reported 46 and 35 deaths, respectively.
Four more districts saw a rapid surge in the infection in the past one week. They are Ballia, Varanasi, Bareilly, Prayagraj, and Gorakhpur. (See adjoining map)
“We have been directed that the Integrated Covid Control and Command Centre has to be established by Sunday night in all the districts. The centre will monitor all the new cases, their contact tracing, surveillance, availability of ambulance services, and finally the management of the Covid treatment facilities,” Awasthi said.
Among the rest of the new cases in the last 24 hours, 89 were reported in Gorakhpur, 79 in Ghaziabad, 73 in Varanasi, 68 in Hardoi, 58 in Shahjahanpur and 52 in Sambhal.
With the recovery of 29,845 patients till date and 1146 deaths, the state now has 18,256 active cases. At least 38 deaths were reported in past 24 hours, including eight in Kanpur Nagar, four in Bareilly, three in Rampur, two each in Lucknow, Prayagraj, Sambhal, Gonda, Ballia and Hamirpur, and one each in Mahoba, Jhansi, Bhadohi, Maharajganj, Etawah, Gorakhpur, Bahraich, Jaunpur, Varanasi, Gautam Buddha Nagar and Meerut.
Kanpur Nagar is also the only district with more than 100 Covid deaths at 120. The second in the list is Agra with 96 deaths and Meerut with 95 deaths. While Kanpur Nagar reported 34 deaths in the past seven days, Meerut reported five and Agra two.
The Covid testing numbers saw a rapid increase this week with Thursday (July 16) registering a record 54,207 samples getting tested. On Saturday, 44,123 samples were tested for Covid-19 through RT-PCR machines, TrueNat machines and Rapid Antigen Tests, taking the total test count to 14.70 lakh.
While ramping up of testing has led to increase in the number of cases, the test-positivity ratio has seen only a marginal increase. It rose from 3.04% to 3.20% in the last seven days, Principal Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has set a standard of 14 tests per lakh and with around 32,000 tests per day the state is already above the standard.
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