As the number of COVID-19 cases crossed the nine-lakh mark on Tuesday (July 14), the Health Ministry said 86 per cent of the total active cases were recorded from 10 Indian states.
Addressing a press briefing, Rajesh Bhushan, the officer on special duty in the Health Ministry, said two of the most affected states are Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, which are contributing to 50 per cent of the total active cases (1,54,134 active cases).
Karnataka, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Assam are the other affected states that contribute to 36 per cent of the total active cases (1,11,068 active cases).
With 28,498 fresh cases recorded in a day, India’s COVID-19 tally sprinted past nine lakh on Tuesday, just three days after it crossed the eight-lakh mark.
Bhushan also said that the total recovered cases of COVID-19 are about 1.8 times the number of active cases.
On COVID testing, he said that 22 states are currently performing more than 140 tests per day per million population.
Responding to a question on the fatality rate, he said the national COVID-19 fatality rate is 2.6 per cent and it is coming down rapidly. “Compared to the global case, fatality rate it is significantly lower,” he added.
Several states reimpose lockdown, restrictions to contain COVID-19 spike
Nearly a dozen states have so far reimposed a lockdown in certain areas for varying periods to check the surge in COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Bihar on Tuesday extended the curbs to the whole state from July 16 to July 31.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi announced the 15-day total lockdown in the state from July 16. A shutdown had earlier been imposed in nearly a third of its 38 districts.
The state government order, which cited a Ministry of Home Affairs communication of June 29 for containment of the pandemic, also said the decision was taken in view of the “alarming surge in COVID 19 cases… in the last three weeks”.
The state’s tally rose by more than two-fold during the period. Bihar recorded a single-day spike of 1,432 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, which pushed the total tally in the state to 18,853, the health department said.
A week-long total shut down came into effect in Bengaluru from 8 pm on Tuesday. Karnataka’s Dharwad and Dakshina Kannada districts too will come under lockdown for nine days and seven days respectively from Wednesday. There was huge rush of customers at grocery stores and liquor shops ahead of the shutdown.
Across Karnataka, 41,581 people have tested positive for the virus infection including over 19,000 cases in the state capital.
Maharashtra, which has the highest number of cases at 2,67,665, brought into force a 10-day strict lockdown from Monday in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad.
A lockdown has been imposed in Osmanabad city till July 19 to break the chain of the viral spread.
West Bengal on Tuesday extended the total lockdown in containment zones till July 19, the state home department said.
West Bengal had earlier imposed a strict lockdown in containment areas and nearby buffer zones from July 9 evening. These zones are located in and around Kolkata, besides Jalpaiguri, Malda, Cooch Behar, Raiganj, and Siliguri.
Tamil Nadu had earlier imposed a lockdown for varying periods in Chennai, Madurai, and nearby regions, which are ongoing.
Tamil Nadu has the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the country. The state has also imposed a lockdown on all Sundays.
With some Haryana districts falling in the National Capital Region seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, Home Minister Anil Vij indicated that the state may also impose stricter curbs in its worst-affected areas.
Of the over 22,000 cases in the state as of Tuesday, three districts alone — Gurgaon, Faridabad and Sonipat, all of which fall in the NCR, contributed to nearly 15,000 of the cases and also to nearly 75 per cent of the total fatalities.
Assam on Sunday extended the two-week lockdown imposed from June 28 in Kamrup Metropolitan district, under which Guwahati falls, by a week till July 19 from 6 pm.
The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to implement strict restrictions across the state on weekends to check the spread of the virus, joining Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, which have been imposing lockdowns on Sundays.
The UP government on Tuesday issued detailed directives for the weekend lockdown. All urban and rural haats, markets, galla mandis, and business establishments in Uttar Pradesh would remain closed during the period, the order said.
Sikkim also imposed total lockdown in Rongli and Pakyong sub-divisions from 6 AM on Wednesday.
After Kashipur, a three-day lockdown has been imposed in Rudrapur and Bajpur in Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand with effect from midnight Monday due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, a senior state official said.
Strict lockdown restrictions were reimposed in most parts of Kashmir, including in the city here, on Monday after a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases in the valley over the past one week, officials said.
The Arunachal Pradesh government had on Saturday extended the lockdown in the capital region for another week till 5 pm on July 20 in view of the spurt in COVID-19 cases in the region.
The Meghalaya government had imposed a lockdown in Shillong from 6 am on Monday till Wednesday 6 AM. The lockdown will not be extended further as contact-tracing in identified clusters has been completed, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said on Tuesday.
India will cross 10 lakh-mark of COVID-19 cases this week, says Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country will cross the 10 lakh-mark this week.
He had on Monday (July 13) questioned the Centre’s claims on battling COVID-19, asking if India was at a “good position” in the battle against the virus. He has been critical of the governments handling of the situation.
“This week, the figure of 10,00,000 will be crossed in our country,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi. The Congress leader also tagged a news report quoting the WHO chief who had said that if concrete steps were not taken, the coronavirus situation in the world would turn from bad to worse.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) chief on Monday slammed a few government leaders for eroding public trust by sending mixed messages on the virus and warned that their failure to stop their countries spiralling outbreaks meant there would be no return to normal for the foreseeable future.
No one should be turned away from hospitals due to high cost of treatment, rules SC
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday that no one should be turned away from hospital due to higher cost of treatment, while asking the government to consider framing guideline on the issue of cost of treatment for COVID-19 infection.
Though the apex court opined that cost of the treatment should not be higher at the present time, it also said that court is not equipped to either regulate cost of treatment or say what should be the best model of treatment for patients infected with the coronavirus.
A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices R S Reddy and A S Bopanna, was hearing through video-conferencing a plea filed by advocate Sachin Jain who has sought a direction for regulating the cost of treatment of COVID-19 at private hospitals across the country.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that government is looking into all the issues related to coronavirus and concerns raised by the petitioner would be taken care of.
During the hearing, the bench referred to the affidavit filed earlier in the matter by the Centre which had said that there is no provision under the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 “whereby it is mandated that the private hospitals running on the public land shall treat COVID-19 patients on free basis”.
“It is again reiterated that such policies may only be defined and implemented by the respective state governments,” the Centre’s affidavit had said.
The counsel appearing for federation of private hospitals said that states have their own models and there cannot be a uniform pricing for all the states. He said as far as charitable hospitals are concerned, they are already providing free treatment to COVID-19 patients.
He also said each state is grappling with the problem of the virus and it is not that private hospitals are making money during the time of pandemic. Jain claimed in the court that some private hospitals are charging exorbitant rates for COVID-19 treatment at this time of this pandemic.
(With inputs from agencies)