New Delhi: Coronavirus cases in India crossed the 3 lakh mark on Saturday morning as the country has recorded its highest-ever 11,458 fresh Covid-19 infections in 24 hours. In an alarming sign, India has recorded over one lakh COVID-19 cases in the last 10 days alone.
On January 30, the first case of the coronavirus was reported in the country of a medical student who had arrived in Kerala from the virus epicentre of China’s Wuhan. India went past the United Kingdom to become the fourth worst-hit nation by the COVID-19 pandemic. India is the fourth after the US, Brazil and Russia, according to the Worldometer.
On the other hand, the authorities claim it is a matter of relief that in spite of having a population of 130 crores, the pace of coronavirus infection in India is much slower than other countries.
With the fresh cases of 11,458 infections, India’s coronavirus tally has now climbed to 308,993.
According to the Union Health Ministry, India in the past 24 hours has reported 386 deaths due to the coronavirus, taking India’s Covid-19 death toll to 8,884.
The total number of coronavirus infections include 145,779 active cases, and 154,329 cured/discharged/migrated in the country, the Health Ministry said.
Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state in the country having recorded more than one lakh cases and around 3,717 virus-related deaths so far.
The Ministry also said that during the last 24 hours, a total of 7,135 COVID-19 patients have been cured. Thus, so far, a total of 1,54,329 patients have been cured of COVID-19. The recovery rate is 49.95% amongst COVID-19 patients. Presently, there are 1,45,779 active cases and all are under active medical supervision.
The Ministry further said that ICMR‘s testing capacity for detecting the novel Coronavirus in infected persons is continuously being ramped up. The number of government labs has been increased to 642 and private labs has been increased to 243 (A total of 885). In the last 24 hours, 1,43,737 samples were tested. The total number of samples tested thus far is 55,07,182.
Loss of smell or taste added to list of COVID-19 symptoms, according to revised clinical management protocols released by Union Health Ministry.
On Friday, the Cabinet Secretary held a video conference with Chief Secretaries, Secretary Health and Secretary Urban Development of all the states. States were advised to focus on containment, testing and tracing, health infrastructure up-gradation, case clinical management and community engagement for effective management of COVID-19.
States were asked to also pay special attention to the emerging epicentres and undertake stringent containment measures so as to check the spread of virus. States were advised that active house-to-house surveillance through Special Teams in containment zones is critical for early identification of cases. They were requested to expedite up-gradation of hospital infrastructure so as to manage the cases as per projections besides ensuring sufficient logistics (e.g. pulse oximeters), and trained human resources (doctors, staff nurses, non-clinical staff).
It was emphasized that going forward preventive measures are extremely important especially for vulnerable population i.e. elderly and co-morbid patients. Timely referrals, based on symptoms and improving clinical practices with the help of Centres of Excellence in collaboration with AIIMS, Delhi was also stressed. States were requested to undertake extensive community outreach to encourage social distancing and promotion of COVID appropriate behaviour in the community at all times.