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India reported 90,97,507 cases as on Sunday.
India reported 90,97,507 cases as on Sunday.

India’s covid cases inch towards 1-crore mark. Here's how it faces the challenge

  • The union health ministry on Sunday deputed high level central teams to Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to support the states in covid-19 response and management

NEW DELHI: As India races towards the 1-crore mark in covid-19 cases, the pandemic throws fresh challenges for the country.

India reported 90,97,507 cases as on Sunday. The country has learnt major lessons in fighting the pandemic so far, ranging from the need to loop in private sector through public private partnerships (PPP), awareness campaigns, becoming self reliant and requirement of huge investments in the healthcare sector to build resilient health systems with robust health infrastructure to deal with emergency situations.

The epidemic curve in India seems to be bending with lower case numbers and fatalities, but authorities’ reacting to the expected national second wave of infections may prove instrumental.

“Prudent public health interventions are going to play important role beginning from increasing testing by RTPCR tests strict contact identification and treatment. ICU strength in terms of beds is being increased," said Dr Suneela Garg, director professor, department of community medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, University of Delhi. Awareness about the disease and its symptoms would be crucial and imposing checks on compliance regarding correct use of masks, physical distancing and sanitization would be critical, Garg said.

“Niti Aayog, the think tank with the ministry of health, has been working on strategy to procure as well as develop Covid 19 vaccine and make it available to masses. Private public partnership will be crucial in making vaccine available till last mile of the country," she said. Covin App developed by the Centre will play a very crucial role in supply chain management of vaccine. Talent technology ,transparency and cooperation of all stakeholders, government and private and communities, will play an important role, Garg added.

Amid rising covid-19 cases after the festival season, the concern of central government is apparent. The union health ministry on Sunday deputed high level central teams to Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to support the states in covid-19 response and management. These states have been either reporting a rise in the number of active cases i.e. those who are hospitalized or are in home isolation under medical supervision, or demonstrating a rise in daily new cases.

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

Earlier, the Union government had sent such teams to Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Manipur, and Chhattisgarh.

India’s present active caseload at 4,40,962 is 4.85% of the total positive cases. Ten states/UTs have contributed 76.81% of the new cases. In the last 24 hours, 45,209 people were found covid infected.

Delhi reported 5,879 cases in the last 24 hours. Kerala recorded 5,772 new cases while Maharashtra reported 5,760 daily cases yesterday. In all, 501 case fatalities have been reported in the past 24 hours. These were from 10 states/UTs, the union health ministry said. With this, the total death toll touched 1,34,205 on Sunday.

Delhi reported 111 deaths, Maharashtra saw a fatality count of 62, while West Bengal recorded 53 deaths, the union health ministry said.

Public health experts said India would need to continue to act on the prevention mode and strengthen its testing and contact tracing.

“India has done very well , both the Central as well as state governments are doing their best. What can be done better as our testing has kept improving is on tracing and isolating the positive asymptomatic ones," said Bishnu Panigrahi, Group Head, Medical Strategy and Operations, Fortis Healthcare. It has been seen that positive asymptomatic cases have been a major cause of spread.

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