COVID-19 spurt in states: Centre rushes teams to UP, Punjab, Himachal

The Centre has sent high-level teams to Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to support the states’ efforts towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing, infection prevention and control measures

The death toll due to the infectious disease has climbed to 1,68,436 with 794 fatalities, which happens to be the highest since October 18 last year, Photo: PTI

There is a cause for concern among some states as there is an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. And, to support the states in COVID response and management, the Centre has rushed high-level teams to three states.

On Sunday, three-member teams were sent to Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. These states have been either reporting a rise in the number of active cases, those who are hospitalised or are in home isolation under medical supervision, or demonstrating a rise in the daily new cases, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said.

These three-member teams will visit the districts reporting high number of COVID cases and support the states’ efforts towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing, infection prevention and control measures, and efficient clinical management of the positive cases. The Central teams shall also guide in effectively managing the challenges related to timely diagnosis and follow up, it added.

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Earlier, the Union Government had sent the high-level teams to Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Manipur, and Chhattisgarh.

In the last two weeks, Uttar Pradesh has seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. Yesterday, Uttar Pradesh reported 2,588 fresh cases, taking the tally to 5,26,780, while the death toll rose to 7,559 with 35 new fatalities.

Also, on Sunday, Rajasthan witnessed its highest single-day spike of 3,260 cases. This was the fourth day in a row that the state had record number of cases.

Related News: 9 pm to 6 am curfew in Ahmedabad

Delhi, Kerala, Maharashtra, and West Bengal continued to be the top-four states/UTs reporting more number of new cases per day. Also, these four have more than 20,000 active cases, with Maharashtra in top spot.

As per the health ministry’s data on Monday (November 23), Maharashtra has the highest number of active cases in the country with 80,878, followed by Kerala with 66,982, and Delhi with 39,741.

India’s caseload as on today at 8 am, is 91,39,865 with 44,059 new cases and 41,024 recoveries in the last 24 hours. New fatalities were 511.

Maharashtra has the highest number of cases in the country with 17,80,208, followed by Karnataka with 8,73,046. Andhra Pradesh is at third place with 8,62,213 cases.

At the national level, the daily growth rate of cases is 0.45% and Delhi, Kerala and West Bengal’s rate is more than this, among the 10 states with maximum caseloads. However, overall, India is seeing a decline in the COVID cases since its peak on September 19 when it was 10.17 lakh. Now, it is about 4.4 lakh.

The biggest rise in active cases in the last two weeks has come in Rajasthan – an increase of more than 5,600 — followed by Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. Similarly, Himachal Pradesh, whose total caseload is less than 35,000, has been detecting an average of about 650 cases every day for the last two weeks, according to Indian Express.

Before this month, it had never reported more than 460 cases in a day. On Saturday, the state found as many as 915 fresh cases. The active cases in the state have more than doubled, from about 3,000 to over 7,000, since the start of this month, the report added.

Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh are reporting more number of cases compared to earlier. And in Gujarat, the state government has imposed night curfew in four cities.

A 57-hour curfew in Ahmedabad ended today but Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, in a Facebook address yesterday, said there will be night curfew in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara, from 9 pm to 6 am.

“From tomorrow (November 23), only night curfew will be imposed, which began in three cities (Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot) from last (Saturday) night. From tomorrow, there will only be night curfew (in these four cities),” he said. The police will impose a fine of Rs 1,000 for mask violations, the CM reminded the people.

The increase in the number of cases in states could be due to the festival season. Last month, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said Kerala is “paying the price” over “gross negligence” during Onam.

“The state is paying the price of its gross negligence. There were huge congregations during Onam and adequate safety measures were not taken,” the minister said.

In Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urged people to understand the gravity of the situation as the cases look like “a tsunami” in Delhi and western countries.

“The second wave seen in several parts of the country like Delhi and Ahmedabad and the western countries looks like a tsunami and not a wave and we have to be cautious…crowding will not kill coronavirus, but help it spread more,” Thackeray said.

“The spiralling cases in Delhi is a cause of concern and there is night curfew in Ahmedabad. I don’t want another lockdown, but you should also understand the gravity of the situation,” he said.

“We are standing at a dangerous turn. We have to decide whether we want to go for a lockdown or follow all the mandatory COVID-19 safety protocols,” the chief minister said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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