COVID spikes after festival; curfew in Ahmedabad, Delhi ups monitoring

Ministry data shows India’s caseload crossed the 90-lakh mark on Friday with 45,882 new cases

| PTI Photo

The festive season across India has resulted in major cities reemerging as COVID-19 hotspots, with a steep rise in the number of active cases in the past few weeks. For the record, the Union Health Ministry data showed that India’s caseload surpassed the 90-lakh mark on Friday with 45,882 new cases, while the recoveries surged to 84.28 lakh pushing the national recovery rate to 93.6 per cent.

In a move to check the alarming rise of cases in Ahmedabad, the authorities have decided to impose a ‘complete curfew’ from November 20. The curfew period begins from 9 pm of November 20 till the morning of November 23 at 6 am. The decision to impose the marathon 57-hour long curfew was taken after a late-night review of the coronavirus situation in Ahmedabad.

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Overall, the total COVID cases mounted to 90,04,365 and the death toll climbed to 1,32,162 with the deadly virus claiming 584 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Here is the latest on the virus prevalence across some cities:

Delhi: The national capital recorded 7,546 new COVID cases on Thursday (November 19), with a positivity rate of 12 per cent. The death toll touched 8,041, with 98 deaths being reported. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said the penalty for not wearing masks has been raised from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000. Addressing a webcast, Kejriwal said that apart from private hospitals, 663 beds will be added in Delhi government hospitals. “The Central government has also assured an additional 750 beds in the Centre-run hospitals, which means that we will have around 1,413 additional ICU beds in the next few days in Delhi”, he said.

The Delhi government will start a door-to-door survey on Friday in light of the spike in Covid-19 cases in the capital. The survey will cover all 4,500-odd containment zones, as well as several areas outside containment zones, that have a high caseload.

The Home Ministry said since the meeting between Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Delhi government officials, more than 28,708 RT-PCR tests have been conducted. The Ministry has kept a target of 60,000 RT PCR tests per day by the end of November.

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Ahmedabad: The Gujarat city has been witnessing a steady rise in cases since the beginning of this month. From 125 to 130 daily cases a few months ago, the city is now witnessing over 200 Covid-19 single-day infections. As of Thursday morning, the city had 2,845 active cases and has been witnessing a steep surge in Covid-19 cases after Diwali. Of these, the majority is from the western parts of the city. Ahmedabad reported three deaths and 230 fresh cases of COVID on Thursday, out of total 1,340 cases and seven deaths in the whole of Gujarat, taking its caseload to over 46,000.

The city will have a complete curfew from Friday night. Shops selling milk and medicines would be allowed to open. The night curfew would be extended from Monday onwards, said the Gujarat government. The decision to impose the night curfew from 9 pm to 6 am from Friday was taken in a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and attended by Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and senior officials.

Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is bracing for the second wave of infections, and has warned that the number of active cases may cross 19,500. The city has so far reported 3.44 lakh confirmed cases, the third highest for any city, after Delhi and Bengaluru. The city has also recorded over 8,000 coronavirus-related deaths, the maximum after Mumbai and Delhi. Pune district till Wednesday afternoon has reported a total of 3.32 lakh cases, of which 9,174 were active cases.

The PMC has said it has adequate facilities to accommodate the rising number of patients, and anticipates that 40 per cent were likely to be in home isolation, while 60 per cent would be in institutional isolation, of which 45 per cent would be in COVID care centres and 15 per cent would need oxygen support. The PMC also expects, during the second wave, demand for 2,934 oxygen beds, including 2,347 oxygen beds and 294 ICU beds each with ventilators and without ventilators. It has claimed to have 3,244 oxygen beds, 446 ICU beds with ventilators and 401 ICU beds without ventilators, to accommodate Covid-19 patients.

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Shimla: Barring one resident, the entire Thorang village in Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul has been tested positive for coronavirus. The district has been one of the worst affected in terms of population ration in the state. The spread is being linked to a religious programme which was held a few days back. The social gathering is being blamed for the community transmission, sources say. People from the surrounding areas are also feared covid-19 positive, a report said.

The administration has restricted tourism movement to Teling nullah near the north portal of the Rohtang Tunnel to avoid the spread. Tourists are not allowed to enter Lahaul villages on Thursday as the village beyond Rohtang Tunnel has been turned into containment zones. Thorang village along the Manali-Leh highway has just 42 residents as others have migrated to Kullu for winter, officials said.

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