India on Friday (June 19) registered a record one-day jump of 13,856 COVID-19 cases in a grim trend that has continued for most of this month as Chennai was back into lockdown after a sharp rise in the infections.
In some positive news, the number of recoveries crossed the two lakh mark and now stands at 2,04,710, while there are 1,63,248 total COVID-19 active cases, according to the Union Health ministry data. This showed that around 53.79 per cent of the patients have recovered so far.
The jump of 13,586 COVID-19 cases pushed the countrywide tally to 3,80,532, while the death toll stood at 12,573 with 336 new fatalities, the data showed.
As states focused on rigorous testing, the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) said 1,76,959 samples were tested on Thursday, the highest for a day so far to take the cumulative total to 64,26,627 samples.
The Centre also asked states to replicate the best practices implemented by Karnataka, which includes comprehensive contact tracing of COVID-19 cases and physical or phone-based household survey, for better management.
India’s Drug Regulator, meanwhile, has approved anti-viral drug favipiravir for “restricted emergency use” in mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 in view of the crisis posed by the pandemic, official sources said.
Considering the emergency and unmet medical need in COVID-19, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) under the fast-tracked approval process granted domestic firm Glenmark Pharmaceuticals the permission to manufacture and market favipiravir (200 mg) tablet.
“The drug has been approved for restricted emergency use in the country for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of COVID-19,” a source in the know of developments told PTI.
From the states
A total of 1,89,997 cases — around half of the overall tally — was reported this month alone largely due to the rise in the infections in the worst affected states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
UP, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh were among the states which registered a record daily spike on Friday.
Kerala recorded a rise in cases by over 100 for the second time so far. The first coronavirus case in the country was reported in this state on January 30.
Chennai wore a deserted look as the 12-day lockdown without previous relaxations came into force in the Tamil Nadu capital and in a string of other localities in nearby three districts Chengalpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur with police deploying drones and intensifying patrols to check violations.
Tamil Nadu reported 2,115 new COVID-19 cases taking the tally to 54,449. Chennai accounted for 70 per cent of these cases.
While arterial roads to neighbouhood streets were deserted, police placed barricades in key intersections and blocked free access to several main thoroughfares in the city and suburbs.
Shops selling essentials including vegetables functioned from morning till 2 pm and private vehicles and autos, taxis were off the roads.
Related news: Chennai deserted as 12-day lockdown kicks in
Only some cargo trucks and vehicles related to essential services were seen plying on roads and other key highways in Chennai’s southern and northern periphery.
Under the lockdown, only essential services are allowed unlike the relaxations available previously.
City Police Commissioner A K Viswanathan asserted that curbs will be strictly enforced.
Cooperation from people was good, he said, and appealed to them to continue that for the success of the complete lockdown to help prevent spread of COVID-19.
In Kerala, the COVID-19 inched towards the 3,000 mark with 118 new cases being reported in the highest single day spike.
With the addition of the fresh cases, 2,912 people have been infected, Health minister K K Shailaja said.
New positive cases on a single day had touched three digits for the first time in Kerala on June 5 when 111 people were infected.
In Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said while the spread of coronavirus has been contained in the state the increase in the mortality rate was not a good sign.
“After the easing of lockdown restrictions, there is an increase in the number of patients in some districts. Tracing patients and their contacts expeditiously is very important and the only solution. There should be no complacency,” he said during a video conference with collectors, municipal commissioners and divisional commissioners to review the pandemic situation.
Maharashtra accounts for 1,20,504 cases in the country while the death toll stood at 5,751.
Lauding the two initiatives taken by Karnataka developed as part of the whole of government approach with the involvement of multi-sectoral agencies and supported by technology-based solutions and interventions, the Union Health ministry said they effectively trace and track each case thereby successfully containing the spread of the epidemic.
“The Centre has asked the other states to adapt these best practices to their local context and replicate them for better management of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the ministry said in a statement.
Karnataka has widened the definition of contact to include both the high-risk as well as low-risk contacts as defined by the central government.
The number of primary and secondary contacts in the state were meticulously traced and put under strict quarantine, the ministry said. Contact tracing is a critical component towards containing the epidemic and ensuring that the health infrastructure does not get overwhelmed.
The state has been able to curtail the spread of infection in slums of big corporation areas through compulsory institutional quarantine of the contacts residing in slums or similar areas, it said.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s office-cum-residence in Bengaluru was shut for sanitisation for a day after an employees relative tested positive for coronavirus.
According to sources, a woman staff working at Krishna, the office-cum-residence of Yediyurappa, did not turn up for duty for two days after her husband was infected by the virus.
“Her husband has been tested positive and not the woman, but still as a precautionary measure the entire building has been sanitised,” an official told PTI.
The chief minister conducted all the important meetings of the day at the Vidhana Soudha instead of Krishna, the official said.
Amid the rising COVID-19 cases in West Bengal, the number of containment zones in the state has also increased from 1,907 to 2,428 in a week, the state government said.
Kolkata, which has reported the highest number of active cases in the state (2,173) so far, also has the maximum number of containment zones at 1,512, according to the state government website Egiye Bangla.
Till Thursday, the state registered 12,735 COVID-19 cases and 518 fatalities.
Punjab reported 217 fresh COVID-19 cases on Friday, taking the infection tally to 3,832, while the death toll in the state rose to 92, according to a medical bulletin.
Nine fatalities due to coronavirus were reported in the state, out of which two deaths each were reported in Amritsar and Jalandhar and one each in Moga, Barnala, Sangrur, Patiala and Tarn Taran, as per the medical bulletin.
Punjab continued to witness a spike in coronavirus cases with 217 people getting infected on Friday. The state has seen 692 more people getting infected with the deadly virus since June 15.
Four patients are critical and are on ventilator support while 27 are on oxygen support, it said.
A total of 2,27,012 samples have been taken so far for testing, the bulletin stated.
With 809 COVID-19 cases, Uttar Pradesh was among the states which recorded the highest single-day spike to take the tally to 16,594, officials said.
The death toll due to COVID-19 mounted to 507 after 19 fresh fatalities were reported from different districts of the state, they said.
The previous highest single-day spike in cases was on Thursday when the state recorded 604 cases.
“Of the total infected people, 9,995 have been discharged from hospitals after recovery. The number of active cases in the state stands at 6,092,” Additional Chief Secretary (Medical and Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said.
He said record 17,221 COVID-19 tests were conducted on Thursday. The official said the state health department has also started random sampling.
“Of the 3,475 samples taken from urban slums in 75 districts, 65 were found positive in 17 districts,” he said.
Prasad said 1.30 lakh teams of the health department have conducted surveys of 97 lakh houses.
Delhi’s recovery rate increased to 42.69 per cent on June 18, after staying below the 40 per cent mark for 13 days, according to official figures.
This is the first time in two weeks that the recovery rate has crossed the 40 per cent mark, amid a surge in coronavirus cases.
The cases in the national capital look poised to breach the 50,000 mark on Friday.
On June 18, when the national capital witnessed the highest one-day spike of 2,877 cases taking the tally closer to the 50,000 mark, it also witnessed its best recovery rate in the last 14 days.
According to the authorities, 3,884 patients recovered or migrated outside the city on Thursday taking the total number of such patients to 21,341.
The recovery rate also crossed the 40 per cent mark with 42.69 per cent of patients recovering from the virus.
Gujarat reported 540 new coronavirus positive cases on Friday, taking the total to 26,198, the health department said.
With 27 COVID-19 patients dying, death toll due to the pandemic rose to 1,619, it said.
On the other hand, 340 patients recovered during the day, taking the number of patients who were discharged from hospital to 18,167. The state has now 6,412 active cases, with 67 patients put on ventilators.
Gujarat COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 26,198, new cases 540, deaths 1,619, discharged 18,167, active cases 6,412 and people tested so far 3,14,301.
The rapid pace of coronavirus spread in Andhra Pradesh continued as a largest number of 465 cases were added in a day, taking the states aggregate to 7,961 on Friday. The COVID-19 death toll mounted to 96 with four fresh casualties, according to the latest bulletin.
While two patients died in Krishna district, one succumbed in Prakasam. Srikakulam district registered its first COVID-19 death on Friday, the bulletin said.
In the last 24 hours, 133 patients were discharged from hospitals across the state on recovery from the infection.
The coronavirus cases in the state included 6,230 local, 1,423 from other states and 308 foreign returnees.
After 3,065 patients were discharged, the state now has 3,960 active COVID-19 cases. The recovery rate dipped below the 50 per cent mark to 49.05 while the positivity rate rose to 1.26 per cent after 6,30,006 tests were completed, statistics released by the government revealed.
(With inputs from agencies)