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Fire brigade officials spray disinfectant outside shops in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, during the lockdown in Assam's Nagaon. Photo: PTI

COVID tally 10.7 lakh; WB, Assam, Bihar, Odisha asked to step up efforts

With 29,993 people testing positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, India's COVID-19 caseload surged to 10,70,390 while 6,75,488 patients have recovered from the disease so far, according to data by

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With 29,993 people testing positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 caseload surged to 10,70,390 while 6,75,488 patients have recovered from the disease so far, according to data by

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 26,818 with 533 fatalities reported in a day, the data showed.

The Health Ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

At present, there are 3,67,689 active cases in the country, while 6,75,488 people have recovered so far and one has migrated. “Around 62.94 per cent of patients have recovered so far,” an official said.

The total number of confirmed cases includes foreigners.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a cumulative total of 1,34,33,742 samples have been tested for COVID-19 up to July 17 with 3,61,024 samples being tested on Friday.

Of the 533 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, 144 are from Maharashtra, 93 from Karnataka, 88 from Tamil Nadu, 52 from Andhra Pradesh, 24 from Uttar Pradesh, 27 from West Bengal, 26 from Delhi, 19 from Gujarat, 17 from Haryana, eight from Madhya Pradesh, seven each from Punjab, Telangana and Rajasthan, and five from Jammu and Kashmir.

Jharkhand and Bihar have reported four deaths each, Odisha and Puducherry have registered three each, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Goa two each, and Uttarakhand has registered one fatality.

Of the total 26,818 deaths reported so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest 11,596 fatalities followed by Delhi with 3,597 deaths, Tamil Nadu 2,403, Gujarat 2,126, Karnataka 1,245, Uttar Pradesh 1,108, West Bengal 1,076, Madhya Pradesh 706, and Rajasthan 553.

So far, 586 people have died of COVID-19 in Andhra Pradesh, 403 in Telangana, 344 in Haryana, 246 in Punjab, 236 in Jammu and Kashmir, 177 in Bihar, 112 in Odisha, Assam 58, Uttarakhand 52, 46 in Jharkhand, and 41 in Kerala.

Puducherry has registered 28 deaths, Chhattisgarh 24, Goa 21, Chandigarh 12, Himachal Pradesh 10, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura three each, Meghalaya, Ladakh and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu two each.

Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 3,00,937 followed by Tamil Nadu at 1,65,714, Delhi at 1,21,582, Karnataka at 55,115, Gujarat at 47,476, Uttar Pradesh at 47,036, and Telangana at 42,496.

The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 44,609 in Andhra Pradesh, 40,209 in West Bengal, 28,500 in Rajasthan, 25,547 in Haryana, 24,967 in Bihar, and 21,763 in Madhya Pradesh.

Assam has instances of 21,865 infections, Odisha 16,701, and Jammu and Kashmir 13,198 cases. Kerala has reported 11,660 novel coronavirus infections so far, while Punjab has 9,792 cases.

A total of 5,246 have been infected by the virus in Chhattisgarh, 5,110 in Jharkhand, 4,276 in Uttarakhand, 3,484 in Goa, 2,497 in Tripura, 1,890 in Puducherry, 1,891 in Manipur, 1,457 in Himachal Pradesh and 1,159 in Ladakh. Nagaland has recorded 978 COVID-19 cases, Chandigarh 691, Arunachal Pradesh 609 and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu together have reported 652 cases.

Meghalaya has reported 418 cases, Mizoram 284, Sikkim has registered 286 infections so far, while Andaman and Nicobar Islands has recorded 180 cases.

The ministry said 163 cases are being reassigned to states. State-wise distribution is subject to further verification and reconciliation, it added.

Centre asks WB, Assam, Bihar, Odisha to strengthen efforts to combat COVID-19

With a surge in COVID-19 cases in Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Odisha, the Union health ministry has asked these states to make renewed efforts to contain transmission of the virus and keep case fatality rate below one per cent.

With these states imposing lockdowns anew, the health ministry emphasised that the restrictions should be utilised to focus on containment, surveillance and testing in containment and buffer zones as the key strategy for early detection of cases and fatality management.

In a letter to Principal Secretaries (Health) and Secretary (Health) of these states, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Lav Agarwal asked them to ensure that at least 80 per cent of the new cases have their close contacts traced and are in quarantine within 72 hours of case confirmation.

The letter underlined that containment and buffer zones should be suitably delineated based on the mapping of cases and contacts, and a list of NCC volunteers along with other workforce is available on COVID warriors portal which can be optimally utilised in containment and surveillance effort.

“In terms of testing the state should aim to achieve a minimum of 14 tests per one lakh (140 tests per million) per day, while ensuring a positivity rate of less than 10 per cent,” the letter to the states read.

The Centre has also decided to depute a multi-disciplinary team to Bihar to review and coordinate with the state in managing the pandemic there, according to an office memorandum issued by the health ministry.

The team, comprising Agarwal, Dr S K Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control, and Dr Neeraj Nischal, Associate Professor, Medicine at AIIMS New Delhi, will undertake the visit immediately and coordinate with state health authorities to review the existing situation and provide necessary support and guidance.


According to the letter to the Principal Secretary (Health & Family Welfare), Bihar, cases in the state are rising with almost 450-500 cases being reported daily and 80 per cent of the total active cases in the state were reported in the last seven days.

Districts like Patna, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, Nalanda, Begusarai and Munger are reporting higher number of cases while Saharsa, Gaya, Paschim Champaran, Jamui, Arwal, Saran and Khagaria are the emerging hotspots.

The overall testing is very low in the state vis-a-vis national average and an increasing trend in case positivity rate on weekly basis is also a cause of concern, the letter said.

West Bengal

In the letter to the Secretary (Health and Family Welfare), West Bengal, Agarwal said the state is reporting almost 1,600 cases daily and 93 per cent of the total active cases in state were reported in the last four days.

“Kolkata, Howrah, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas as well as emerging hotspots in Jhargram, Purulia, Nadia, Midnapur East, Hooghly and Nadia need immediate attention.”


Further, Odisha is reporting an average of more than 500 cases everyday since the past four weeks, the letter to the states Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) said.

“According to active case load, Odisha is the tenth most-affected state in the country with Ganjam reporting approximately 37 per cent of the states active caseload,” the letter said, adding, there is need to focus on emerging hotspots such as Nabarangpur, Sambalpur and Kendujhar.

“The increase in weekly fatality trend with almost 29 pc of cases above 45 years, is also a cause of concern,” the letter said.


In the letter to the Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Assam, Agarwal said the state is reporting approximately 600 cases everyday. About 80 per cent of current active case load is reported in last 14 days, with Kamrup metro reporting more than 50 per cent of states active caseload.

Nine districts including Nagaon, Goalpara, Karbi Anglong, Nalbari, Sivasagar are testing lower than Indias average. High case of positivity is noted in Dima Hasao and Kamrup Metro, the letter highlighted.

To keep cases fatality rate less than one per cent, weekly case fatality needs to be monitored and the state should conduct rapid audit of hospitals and create dashboards to monitor real time status of bed utilisation, the letter sent to the four states mentioned.

It also asked them to ensure adequate human resources, revamping ambulance system and helplines to ensure resolution of problems of patients experiencing symptoms or undergoing home isolation.

“The Centre of Excellence for Clinical Management should undertake hospital wise/facility-wise fatality analysis and guide facilities with high CFR through regular VC on appropriate clinical management. Required support from 24×7 team set up by AIIMS Delhi for clinical management consultation may also be taken in this context,” the letters said.

Necessarily testing all asymptomatic high-risk contacts and mild symptomatic as per ICMR protocol should be undertaken, it said.

The states have also been asked to use the forecasting tools made available by the health ministry to ascertain the number of COVID beds required and accordingly calculate the oxygen requirement.

“A nodal officer to keep a track of oxygen requirements and for relevant communication with the centre is to be appointed,” the letter said.

“State should also focus on ensuring availability of non-COVID services such as immunisation, maternal and child health services including other emergency and critical care services,” it stated.

(With inputs from agencies)

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