From Our Bureau  

6th SEPTEMBER 2020

India witnessed a major spurt with 90,632 fresh COVID-19 positive cases reported on Sunday, the highest ever tally for a single day, taking the country’s cumulative cases to 41,13,811. The death toll rose to 70,626, with 1,065 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.

Incidentally, India has moved to the second place today in total number of COVID-19 positive cases among the countries across the world. It ranks next to the United States in overall number of cases. India now ranks third in total number of fatalities, after the United States and Brazil, which occupy the top two slots. Moreover, the daily tally of cases and deaths in India is the highest among all the countries across the globe now.

At the same time, the spike in the daily recovered COVID-19 patients continues in the country. For the second successive day, India has clocked a record recovery of more than 70,000 patients in a single day.

As many as 73,642 patients have recovered and been discharged from home / facility isolation or hospitals in the last 24 hours.

The total numbers of recoveries have reached nearly 32 lakh (31,80,865) as of today.

With this surge in numbers of patients getting recovered on a daily basis, India’s Recovery Rate has been further pushed upwards to 77.32 percent.

Sustained efforts by the Central Government and State/Union Territory governments have substantially resulted in higher number of people getting identified at an early stage for the infection through very high levels of testing. This has enabled their timely treatment, guided by the Standard Treatment Protocol for both home/facility isolation and hospitalisation.

The Central Government, in collaboration with AIIMS, New Delhi has led the process of continuous upgradation of clinical management skills of the ICU doctors in the dedicated COVID hospitals across the country. These measures have resulted in saving more lives. India’s Case Fatality Rate, one of the lowest globally, continues to further compress. It is pegged at 1.72 percent today.

This has also ensured that the active caseload (8,62,320 active cases) accounts for merely 20.96 percent of the total positive cases so far. 

Union Health Secretary engages with Health Secretaries of 6 States/UT exhibiting high surge, caseload and fatality

States exhorted to undertake Stringent Containment Measures and full Utilization of RT-PCR Testing to curb the Chain of Transmission and bring Mortality below 1 percent

The Union Health Ministry has been proactively monitoring the trajectory of the COVID pandemic and has been undertaking impactful interactions with the concerned State/ UT authorities to guide the administration of districts exhibiting a surge in the COVID cases and having high active caseload and fatality rates to improve their management of the crisis.

In this regard, Union Health Secretary held a review meeting through video conference (VC) with the Health Secretaries of 5 States and 1 UT on the containment and management of COVID in 35 districts under their jurisdiction.

These 35 districts are Kolkata, Howrah, North 24 Parganas and 24 South Parganas in West Bengal; Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Kolhapur, Sangli, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Raigad, Jalgaon, Solapur, Satara, Palghar, Aurangabad, Dhule and Nanded in Maharashtra; Surat in Gujarat; Pondicherry in Puducherry; East Singhbhum in Jharkhand; and all 11 districts in Delhi.

In addition to the State Health Secretaries, District Collectors, Municipal Commissioners and other functionaries of the affected districts also participated in the digital meeting.

Addressing the participants, the Union Secretary underscored the need to suppress, curb and eventually break the chain of transmission of the infectious disease by strengthening the active case search focusing on the co-morbids and elderly population; revisiting and strengthening the containment measures in the affected areas; and scaling up the testing to decrease the positivity rates below 5 percent.

The State Health Secretaries presented a detailed analysis on the current status of Covid-19 in these districts. They covered the aspects of containment measures, contact tracing, surveillance activities, facility-wise case fatality rates, trends in terms of weekly new cases and deaths, etc.

They also discussed the detailed roadmaps and action plans for the next one month. Details in terms of split of RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen tests conducted in the district, re-testing percentage of symptomatic negatives from Antigen tests, testing lab utilization, hospitalization status and bed occupancies of oxygen-supported beds, ICU beds and ventilator etc., were also shared with the Central government.

The States/UT were advised to take steps on specific areas:

Limiting the spread of the infection by implementing stringent containment measures and following social distancing measures, strict peri-meter control, and active house-to-house case search;

Early identification by ramping up testing across the districts, optional utilization of RT-PCR testing capacity;

Effective monitoring of home isolation cases and early hospitalization in case of disease progression;

Seamless hospitalization and early admission for patients requiring medical support, especially in cases of co-morbid and elderly population.

Following effective infection control measures in hospitals to safeguard healthcare workers from contracting the infection.

The District Collectors and other functionaries assured to prepare and update district specific plans to continue their efforts to manage the pandemic with the same rigor.

Health Ministry rushes Central teams to Punjab and Chandigarh to be stationed for 10 days

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to deploy Central teams to Punjab and UT of Chandigarh.

The high level teams will assist the State/UT in strengthening public health measures for containment, surveillance, testing and efficient clinical management of COVID patients with the aim to reduce mortality and save lives. They shall also guide the State/UT in effectively addressing the challenges related to timely diagnosis and follow up.

The two-member teams will comprise of a Community Medicine expert from PGIMER, Chandigarh and an epidemiologist from NCDC. These teams shall be stationed in the State/UT for ten days to provide extended guidance in managing COVID.

Punjab has reported a total of 60,013 cases, whereas it has 15,731Active Cases, on date. It has registered 1,739 deaths. The Testing Per Million figure for the State is 37,546 (India’s average figure is 34,593 at present). With 4.97 percent, it hovers at the lower spectrum of cumulative positivity.

The UT of Chandigarh is reporting 2,095 active cases whereas its cumulative cases stand at 5,268. Testing Per Million and cumulative positivity stand at 38,054 and 11.99 percent, respectively.

The Central Government is actively supporting the States/UTs that are seeing a sudden surge in the number of COVID cases and those that are reporting high mortality by deputing multi-sectoral Central teams. Many such teams have visited several States/UTs in the past months. The teams interact with the field authorities to get a first hand understanding of the challenges and issues being faced by them.

The Union Health Ministry has been engaging with several States/UTs that are witnessing a surge in COVID cases and high mortality in some districts during the past two days. The States/UTs have been advised to proactively undertake comprehensive measures to break the chain of transmission of the infectious disease and lower mortality, such that it eventually dips below 1 percent. (eom)

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