Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala extend restrictions; new cases below 3 lakh for fifth day-India News , Technomiz
The toll, however, continued to present a grim picture with 4,209 deaths taking in 24 hours the total casualties to 2,91,331
The Gujarat, Karnataka, and Kerala governments on Friday extended restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 while more states notified mucormycosis or black fungus as an epidemic.
The nationwide COVID-19 caseload figures indicated a marginal improvement, with the number of new cases remaining under three lakh for the fifth consecutive day. But the 2,59,551 fresh cases meant that the second wave was still ferocius as compared to the first wave. The caseload on Friday climbed to 2,60,31,991.
The toll continued to present a grim picture with 4,209 deaths reported in 24 hours, taking the total casualties to 2,91,331.
The Union Health Ministry said that over 20.61 lakh tests had been conducted in 24 hours, which is the highest-ever number of tests in a single day so far. It added that the positivity rate has declined to 12.59 percent.
India’s COVID-19 daily recoveries outnumbered the daily new cases for the eighth consecutive day, with 3,57,295 patients recuperating in a span of 24 hours.
Ten states — Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Assam — reported 76.66 percent of the 2,59,551 new cases, the ministry said.
On Friday, Tamil Nadu reported the highest daily new cases at 35,579, followed by Kerala with 30,491 cases.
Later in the day, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced that the statewide lockdown will be extended till 30 May. “The ‘triple lockdown’ in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Thrissur will be withdrawn from tomorrow as the test positivity rate and active case load have come down. Triple lockdown in Malappuram will continue,” he added.
Lockdown in Kerala is extended till 30 May.
Tomorrow onwards, no triple lockdown in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Thrissur as active cases have come down and TPR is below 25%.
Triple lockdown in Malappuram will continue.
— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) May 21, 2021
In Karnataka, the lockdown is now set to end on 7 June after Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced an extension of restrictions for 14 days. The BJP government in the state is also expected to resume vaccination for people between the ages of 18 and 45 from Saturday.
On the vaccination front, the AAP government in Delhi flagged a shortage and said that inoculation of people in the 18-45 age group will have to be stalled from next week due to a paucity of doses. AAP MLA Atishi said that in the last one week, the government has already shut 235 of the 368 inoculation centres for this category due to the shortage.
“The remaining 133 sites will (also) be shut on Saturday, which means the inoculation drive for this age group will have to be stopped temporarily from Monday, she added.
Meanwhile, Sundarlal Bahuguna, the environmentalist behind Chipko Movement, succumbed to COVID-19 on Friday at the age of 94. He had been admitted to AIIMS hospital in Rishikesh for COVID-19 treatment.
SC stays Allahabad HC’s order on COVID-19 management in Uttar Pradesh
Observing that high courts should refrain from passing directions not implementable, the Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Allahabad High Court order relating to management of COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh, in which the high court had also said that the entire healthcare system in villages and small cities of the state was “Ram bharose” (at God’s mercy).
On 17 May, the Allahabad HC had directed that every village in Uttar Pradesh should be provided with at least two ambulances equipped with ICU facilities. However, the Supreme Court on Friday noted the state government’s submission that there are 97,000 villages in the state and it would not be “humanely possible” to provide such ambulances in one month.
While referring to another HC direction that five medical colleges of the state should be upgraded to PG Medical Institutes within four months, the Supreme Court observed that the state government has said that it is not “practically feasible” in such a short period of time.
A vacation bench of Justices Vineet Saran and BR Gavai said the directions of the high court passed on 17 May shall not be treated as directives but as advice to the Government of Uttar Pradesh.
“Such directions cannot be implemented and it shall be treated as advice and not directions. The state government, which will work to provide facilities to the people will keep in mind the advice of the high court,” it said.
It also said that high courts while considering a matter on management of COVID-19 situation which has a national or trans-national ramification should refrain from dealing with it as the top court is seized of the issue.
Delhi’s positivity rate dips to 4.76%, lowest since 4 April
Delhi recorded 3,009 fresh COVID-19 cases and 252 fatalities on Friday, while the positivity rate dipped to 4.76 percent, according to data shared by the state health department.
According to the latest health bulletin, these new fatalities pushed the death toll from COVID-19 here to 22,831 in the state.
The positivity rate on Friday declined to below five percent from 36 percent registered on 22 April, signifying a marked improvement in the situation of the pandemic.
Delhi’s Friday tally was almost 3,000 cases, the daily count dipping to below the 4,000-mark for the third consecutive day. The positivity rate on Thursday had stood at 5.5 percent.
This is the lowest daily cases count since 1 April, when 2,790 cases and nine deaths were recorded.
Medical experts have attributed the lockdown as the main factor behind the dip in the daily cases count amid the second wave of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said there were 197 cases of black fungus or mucormycosis in hospitals across Delhi till Wednesday night, including non-residents who have come to the city for treatment.
Over 1,100 black fungus patients admitted to hospitals in four Gujarat cities
More than 1,100 mucormycosis patients who had recovered from COVID-19 are undergoing treatment at government hospitals in four major cities of Gujarat, PTI reported.
The state government has declared mucormycosis a pandemic and notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act, which means the hospitals need to notify the government about suspected and confirmed cases of this fatal fungal infection.
Hospitals are also required to follow guidelines on screening, diagnosis and treatment of mucormycosis (also called black fungus) issued by the Centre and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a statement issued by the government said.
While there is no data on the exact number of mucormycosis cases in Gujarat as yet, more than 1,100 patients are currently admitted to government-run hospitals in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara cities.
The highest 450 patients are admitted to the Rajkot civil hospital, 350 to the main civil hospital of Ahmedabad, around 110 in two state-run hospitals in Surat city and around 225 patients are receiving treatment in government hospitals in Vadodara city including 148 at SSG hospital, local officials told PTI.
As per a rough estimate, 70 to 80 persons with confirmed mucormycosis are being admitted to these hospitals every day since the second wave of coronavirus pandemic began in Gujarat in March, officials said.
COVID-19 caseload details
India’s active cases reduced to 30,27,925 on Thursday, and comprised 11.63 percent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate improved to 87.25 percent.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 2,27,12,735, while the case fatality rate has increased to 1.12 percent, the data stated.
According to the ICMR, 32,44,17,870 samples have been tested up to 20 May, with 20,61,683 samples being tested on Thursday.
The 4,209 new fatalities include 984 from Maharashtra, 548 from Karnataka, 397 from Tamil Nadu, 236 from Uttar Pradesh, 233 from Delhi, 191 from Punjab, 162 from West Bengal, 159 from Uttarakhand, 129 from Haryana, 128 from Kerala, 127 from Rajasthan, 114 from Andhra Pradesh and 113 from Chhattisgarh.,
A total of 2,91,331 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 85,355 from Maharashtra, 23,854 from Karnataka, 22,579 from Delhi, 19,131 from Tamil Nadu, 18,588 from Uttar Pradesh, 13,895 from West Bengal, 12,716 from Punjab and 12,295 from Chhattisgarh.
With inputs from PTI
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