New Delhi- Fresh Covid-19 cases are showing a worrying upward trend over the past one week, with the country reporting single-day rise of 16,752 cases in the last 24 hours taking the overall tally to 1,10,96,731 on Sunday, Union Health Ministry said.
The rise is the highest in this month.
The positivity rate has been rising gradually, which is now at 1.48 per cent. As per the Ministry's data, there are 1,64,511 active cases at present after 11,718 patients were discharged in a day.
Meanwhile, 113 more deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, taking the overall toll to 1,57,051, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.
The experts have expressed a number of possibilities which could be owed to the stride ranging from lax attitude of people towards following Covid protocols to likeability of "mutations and new strains" causing the surge, as has been studied by the laboratories involved in Covid detection across the country.
Last week, officials said that the average daily new infections for the last 15 days were oscillating between 9,000 to 12,000 while the deaths were between 78 to 120.
On February 9, India had reported 9,110 new cases, the lowest this year so far. Last year, the lowest 9,633 cases were recorded on June 3.
Till now, 1,07,75,169 persons have been discharged so far. The recovery rate has reduced to 97.10 per cent, a change of 0.4 per cent in the last two days. Meanwhile, the fatality rate remains 1.42 per cent.
On Friday, around 90 per cent of the new cases came from six states -- Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Karnataka and Gujarat, while six states accounted for 84.62 per cent of the new deaths included Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka.
The Ministry also informed that 7,95,723 samples were tested on Saturday. The cumulative tests done by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) so far stands at 21,62,31,106.
So far, 1,43,01,266 doses of corona vaccine have been administered in the country since the drive began on January 16 after approval for 'Covishield' and 'Covaxin'.
As per the Union Health Ministry, India has become the fastest nation in terms of the vaccine doses administered, even though many countries had launched their vaccination campaigns much earlier.
The third phase of vaccination against Covid-19 pandemic will begin from March 1 and will cover 27 crore of people above 60 and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities at 10,000 government and over 20,000 private vaccination centres. While people will be vaccinated free of cost at government hospitals, those taking the shots at private hospitals will have to pay. (IANS)
Quito- Ecuador's Ministry of Public Health has reported 1,748 new Covid-19 cases and 61 deaths, bringing the total number of cases to 284,347 and the death toll to 11,032.
The province of Pichincha, where the capital city of Quito is located, remains the most affected by the pandemic, the ministry said on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the ministry has conducted 1,005,188 tests for Covid-19.
A total of 531 patients are currently hospitalized for complications related to Covid-19, and the health system has been under considerable strain, it added.
On January 21, Ecuador started its vaccination programme with the inoculation of health personnel and the elderly in care homes. (IANS)
Hyderabad- In view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases and the Centre sounding an alert, the Telangana health authorities have ramped up testing across the state.
The authorities are now conducting 40,000 tests per day after 50 per cent drop since the roll out of the Covid vaccination drive on January 16.
The drop in the number of tests had come under flak from experts, who had cautioned against lowering the guard.
With the Union Health Ministry advising all the states to be on alert in the wake of the spike in coronavirus infections in some states over the last few days, the Telangana health department has restored the number of tests to the pre-vaccination level.
During the last 24 hours ending 8 p.m. Saturday, 40,985 tests were conducted in the state. Of this 35,906 samples were tested in government laboratories.
According to the Director of Public Health and Family Welfare, cumulative number of tests have crossed the 87 lakh-mark.
Samples tested per million population climbed to 2,33,762. The daily testing target for the state is 5,600 as per the WHO benchmark of 140 tests per million per day.
Meanwhile, Telangana reported 176 new Covid cases, pushing the tally to 2,98,807.
Greater Hyderabad saw maximum of 27 cases followed by Rangareddy and Medchal Malkajgiri at 14 each. Sangareddy saw 11 new cases(12). Five districts reported no cases while in the remaining 24 districts the count was in single digit.
One more person succumbed to the virus during the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 1,634.
The fatality rate remained 0.54 per cent against the national average of 1.4 per cent. While 44.96 per cent of the deaths occurred due to Covid, 55.04 per cent had comorbidities.
A total of 163 people recovered during the period, taking the cumulative recoveries to 2,95,222. The recovery rate stands at 98.80 per cent against the national average of 97.1 per cent.
Over 92 per cent of the beds in hospitals treating Covid cases remained vacant. As many as 8,219 beds out of 8,577 beds in 62 government hospitals were vacant. Similarly, in 216 private hospitals 6,899 out of 7,633 beds were vacant. (IANS)
Seoul- South Korea reported 356 more cases of Covid-19 as of midnight Saturday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 89,676.
The daily caseload was down from 415 in the previous day, but it hovered above 100 since November 8 owing to small cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province as well as imported cases, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.
Of the new cases, 117 were Seoul residents and 139 were people residing in Gyeonggi province.
Twenty-two cases were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 7,046.
Eight more deaths were confirmed, leaving the death toll at 1,603. The total fatality rate stood at 1.79 per cent.
A total of 364 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 80,697. The total recovery rate was 89.99 per cent.
The country tested more than 6.64 million people, among whom 6,486,441 tested negative for the virus and 72,889 are being checked.
Since the mass vaccination campaign was launched on February 26, the country administered the first shots of Covid-19 vaccines to a total of 20,322 people. (IANS)
The warning comes at a time when Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir have reported a high active caseload in recent days.
Even Delhi has witnessed the highest spike in new Covid infections in nearly 35 days.
According to health experts, the current scenario doesn't allow Indians to attend social gatherings or community meetings, as cases are still rising and new Covid strains have been identified in India.
"In this situation, we cannot become complacent and drop our guard, else the cases can rise exponentially in the coming weeks. We should avoid all sorts of social gathering, especially around Holi, as social distancing norms are usually not followed at such gatherings," said Richa Sareen, Senior Consultant, Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.
"Let's not forget, that Covid is not over as yet," she told IANS.
Rather than focusing on the proclamations and assumptions, people need to aim at precautionary measures and plan Holi, to be celebrated on March 29, accordingly.
"As far as Holi is concerned, it is more about community celebration and affinity that we as human share with each other. Hence, it may trigger an increase in active cases at a faster rate in regard to the current prevailing situation," said Animesh Arya, Senior consultant in Respiratory Medicine, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, New Delhi.
Eighteen states, including Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana, are under the scanner of the central agency for disease surveillance and prevention as these regions have added close to 200 cases of Covid-19 strain from the UK, South Africa and Brazilian variants of SARS-CoV-2.
Amid the surge in coronavirus cases, Delhi has made it mandatory for people travelling from Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab to get a negative Covid-19 report before entering.
"The new strains appear to be more infectious than the SARS CoV2 strain, so it spreads more easily. No data is available on the severity of these strains, as yet and we will get to know in the coming days," Sareen noted.
The experts emphasised that unprecedented lockdown, prolonged fear of infection have already added to people's stress, but adequate precautions are still needed.
"During Holi, check local advisory in your area and follow them. Greet people with an open heart but avoid shaking hands and hugging each other. Wear masks follow Covid appropriate behaviour," Arya added. (IANS)
Beijing- The Chinese mainland reported six new imported Covid-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of imported cases to 4,990, the National Health Commission said in its daily report om Sunday.
Of the new imported cases, two each were reported in Fujian and Yunnan, and one each in Tianjin and Guangdong, Xinhua news agency reported citing the Health Commission.
Among all the imported cases, 4,828 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery while 162 remained hospitalised, the commission said.
No deaths had been reported among the imported cases. (IANS)