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Covid-19: Kerala, Bengal, Maharashtra, Delhi see fresh cases during festive season

A health worker wearing PPE kit collects samples for COVID-19 tests, at market in Bengaluru (PTI)Premium
A health worker wearing PPE kit collects samples for COVID-19 tests, at market in Bengaluru (PTI)

  • About 35% of the total Active Cases in the country today are being reported from only 18 districts, the union health ministry said
  • Strict containment measures will be enforced in these containment zones and only essential activities will be allowed

NEW DELHI : As anticipated the number of Covid-19 cases has increased in several states during the ongoing festival season, the government said on Tuesday. While the total number of covid-19 cases touched 79 56, 698 and the toll reached 1,20,090, the country recorded over 36,470 fresh cases and 488 fatalities in last 24 hours.

“During the festive season, cases have increased in Kerala, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi," said Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Health Ministry in a press briefing on actions taken, preparedness and updates on covid-19. “Health Ministry is in contact with all these states, where central teams have been sent. A few teams have returned after completing the task allotted, and after analyzing their report, further actions will be taken in formulating new strategies to be adopted in these states," he said.

At least 76% of the new confirmed cases are from 10 States and UTs. Kerala and West Bengal have contributed the maximum to the new cases with more than 4,000 cases each. Maharashtra, Karnataka follow with more than 3,000 new cases, Bhushan said. Bhushan said that Kerala has emerged as a leading contributor in new covid-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours. Five states account for around 50% of newly reported covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Kerala alone has reported 4287 cases in last 24 hours, Bhushan said.

Also 86% of total deaths reported are seen in 10 States/UTs of which more than 36% covid-19 deaths seen in Maharashtra. "Five states account for 58% covid-19 deaths reported in last 24 hours and Maharashtra is the leading state reporting the maximum single day deaths (84 deaths), Bhushan said.

However, the new confirmed covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours fell below 37000 for the first time in three months. The new cases were 34,884 on 18th July, 2020. The total positive cases of the country are 6,25,857 and now comprise around 7.88% of the total cases according to the health ministry. About 35% of the total Active Cases in the country today are being reported from only 18 districts, the union health ministry said.

“India witnesses continuous decline in average daily new covid-19 cases; Cases have declined from 83,232 during 23- 29 Sep to 49,909 between 21st to 27th October. India’s Covid-19 case fatality rate has declined from 1.77% on September 1 to 1.50% as of this date," said Bhushan adding that there is a continuous decline in average daily deaths since last five weeks. In the last week (21st to 27th Oct) the average daily deaths are 620.

Considering the ongoing festive season and settling in winters, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an order on Tuesday to extend the guidelines for re-opening issued on 30 September to remain in force up to November. Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till 30th November, 2020.

Containment Zones shall be demarcated by the District authorities at micro level after taking into consideration the guidelines of union health ministry with the objective of effectively breaking the chain of transmission, the government said. Strict containment measures will be enforced in these containment zones and only essential activities will be allowed. Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed, it said.

“We should learn a lesson that countries with much greater economic capability, per capita income and good healthcare systems faced a major second peak of covid-19. India is fortunate that here the trend is in the opposite direction," said VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog.

“Super-spreading events of covid-19 may happen when people are together not only in very large numbers but in medium numbers too. The super-spreading events must be avoided," he said.

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