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Covid cases cross 40 lakh in India, including 65,561 deaths

Syed Ali Ahmed | India Tomorrow

NEW Delhi, SEPTEMBER 5—With Covid-19 cases increasing fast, India crossed the figure of 40.23  lakh confirmed Covid cases, including 65,561 deaths, as on Saturday,  the 166th day since India implemented a nationwide lockdown.

According to Union Health Ministry sources, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradsh and Tamil Nadu have reported the highest number of cases, with infections also rising in states like Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and West Bengal.

Government officials claim that recovery rate in India is 77.2 per cent. Globally there have been 2.64 crores confirmed cases of Covid so far, with more than 8.69 lakh people having died of coronavirus infections.

Delhi records over 1.85 lakh confirmed Covid cases, over 4500 deaths

The confirmed Covid cases are also rising fast in the national capital, recording over 1.85 lakh cases, including more than 4500 deaths as on today. The Capital recorded 2914 fresh cases of Covid 19 on Friday, whicgh was the highest single day spike in 69 days. The capital recorded 1150 fresh cases of Covid 19 till 4 pm on Saturday.

According to Delhi government health department, out of total number of the confirmed Covid cases in the capital, over 1.62 lakh people recovered. The government also conducted over 17 lakh Covid tests.

Unlike in the past, more Covid 19 patients can be seen in hospitals. They are admitted to ICU if they have breathing problem. Once virus reaches in lungs, the patients have pneumonia that causes breathing problem, said an expert.

He said with the rise in cases, bed occupancy in ICUs had gone up, especially at top private hospitals. At present, 31 of 79 private facilities in Delhi that have beds and ICUs for Covid patients are running full, including Max Saket with 32 ICU beds with ventilators; Max Patparganj with 10; Indraprastha Apollo with 12; and Fortis Vasant Kunj with 7.

An official of Delhi health department said that about 70 per cent of Covid patients admitted in ICUs of most top private hospitals are from outside the capital. Out of a total of 14,151 hospital beds in Delhi, about 9,295 or 70 per cent are still vacant. There are 131 Covid hospitals and, at present, only three are full. There are no shortage of beds right now but an increasing number of patients from outside Delhi could emerge as a cause for concern. ICU beds in a few top private hospitals are all occupied, with over 70 per cent of patients admitted there from outside Delhi.

For the last few weeks, well-known private hospitals have been receiving calls from patients in other states. They are getting queries from patients and their attendants from outside Delhi on ICU bed availability.

An official of Saroj Hospital said that critical-care facilities are better in Delhi, and the government and private sector are working together to provide treatment for Covid patients. So, many patients are rushing to hospitals here but unfortunately, we can’t admit more as ICU beds are occupied. The hospital has 10 ventilator beds in the ICU and all are full.

In June, when the capital was seeing a sharp rise in cases, CM Arvind Kejriwal, had said the government would reserve beds only for Delhiites — a move overruled by L-G Anil Baijal, who said no one should be denied treatment on the grounds of being a non-resident of Delhi.

According to Delhi government officials, over 4800 Covid beds occupied by patients, 1500 hail from other states like UP, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Bihar.

Fresh advisory of Union Government

On recommendations of the National Task Force on COVID-19, the new advisory has been issued, allowed more flexibilities to state authorities to enhance Covid testing. The updated guidelines provide for ‘on-demand’ testing in order to ensure higher levels of testing.

The guidelines say:

*No emergency procedure (including deliveries) should be delayed for lack of test. However, sample can be sent for testing.

*Pregnant women should not be referred for a lack of testing facility. All arrangements should be made to collect and transfer samples to testing facilities.

*Mothers who test positive for COVID-19, should be advised to wear a mask and undertake frequent hand washing while handling their baby for 14 days. They should also be advised on breast cleaning before feeding the neonate. These measures are likely to reduce transmission of COVID-19 to their babies.

*No re-testing is recommended prior to discharge from a COVID-19 facility after clinical recovery, including for transfer from a COVID area/facility to a non-COVID area/facility.

*If symptoms develop following a negative RAT(Rapid Antigen Test), a repeat RAT or RTPCR (Real Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) test should be done to detect Covid 19 infection.

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