Uttar Pradesh on Thursday reported its highest single-day spike in coronavirus numbers and for the first time crossed 2,000 new cases. The last 24 hours saw 2,083 new infections in the state, pushing the cumulative cases to 43,441 cases.
The state also reported highest single-day deaths linked to coronavirus. At least 34 Covid patients died, taking the toll since the pandemic began in March to 1,046. The state now has 15,720 active cases.
At least five districts recorded over 100 new cases, with Lucknow recording the highest number — 308, also the Capital’s highest ever. Kanpur Nagar recorded the highest single-day deaths at nine, taking the district’s total Covid toll to 102 — the highest in the state. The fatality rate in the district also reached 5% with 2,051 total cases.
Capital Lucknow, on the other hand, reported three more deaths, taking the toll to 43. Lucknow now has a caseload of 3,235 with its active cases just 29 short of 2,000 — the highest in the state.
The two NCR districts of Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida) and Ghaziabad reported another highs with 143 and 179 new cases, respectively. While two more patients died in Gautam Buddh Nagar, one died in Ghaziabad.
Another district to record over 100 new cases on Thursday was Jhansi, which has been witnessing a surge since last week. The district in the Bundelkhand region reported 113 cases in the last 24 hours, taking its active cases to 620.
Chandauli, which had 320 total cases, on Thursday added 100 more to its caseload.
What has been a concern is the rapid surge in the infection in districts which had till now shown very few cases. For example, Sonbhadra reported 52 new cases in the last 24 hours, Hardoi 58 and Sultanpur 42. Ballia in the east, which has seen a recent surge added 67 more cases, while Meerut, a big hotspot in the west, added 63 more to its caseload.
The surge of cases in the two holy towns of Varanasi and Prayagraj has also been noticed by the government. On a day when the two cities reported a surge — Varanasi 78 new cases and two deaths, Prayagraj 56 new cases and three deaths — Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed concern about the situation in five districts and told officials that there was a need for maintaining alertness in Jhansi, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur city and Prayagraj.
He also directed officials to prepare a concerted strategy for effectively checking the spread of Covid-19 and communicable diseases.
During a meeting with senior officials, the CM also called for daily review of the prevailing situation by the nodal officers appointed in different districts, according to an official statement.
He stressed that special cleanliness and sanitisation drives should be carried out across districts, and asked officials to ensure proper medical screening and supply of clean potable water.
He also directed officials to prepare a strategy by establishing coordination between different departments and to ensure its implementation.
Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary (Medical and Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said a record 48,086 coronavirus samples were tested on Wednesday and the number would be increased to 50,000 soon.
UP has conducted the highest number of tests so far after Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, he said, adding it has fewer number of coronavirus cases per million population compared to other states.
Expressing satisfaction that the Covid-19 testing capacity in the state has risen to 48,000 per day, the Chief Minister said it should be further enhanced to 50,000 per day. He said 30,000-35,000 tests should be done through RT-PCR, 2,000-2,500 through Trunat machines and 20,000-25,000 through rapid antigen process every day.
He directed officials to take necessary precautions to keep the police personnel free of infection. He said authorities can consider taking the help of homeguards, Prantiya Raksha Dal (PRD) jawans and NCC cadets for assisting the police in containment zones.
—With PTI Inputs
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