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India’s Covid situation turning from ‘bad to worse’, huge cause of worry: Govt

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date
India’s Covid situation turning from ‘bad to worse’, huge cause of worry: Govt

Union Health Ministry Tuesday said that the Covid-19 situation in the country is going “from bad to worse” recently and is a huge cause for worry. It also directed states witnessing a spike to ramp up testing with a focus on RT-PCR, isolate promptly, trace contacts, and boost healthcare resources.

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India recorded 56,211 new covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Tuesday, taking the country’s total to over 1.20 crore. Out of the total cases, 5.40 lakh are active while over 1.13 crore people have recovered after testing positive. With 271 new deaths, the toll is over 1.62 lakh now. Maharashtra reported 31,643 cases on Monday and accounts for over 3.36 lakh active cases in the country.

Union Health Ministry Tuesday said that more than 5.8 lakh (5,82,919) vaccination doses have been given to people in the last 24 hours. With this, the total vaccine doses administered across the country has reached over 6.11 cr (6,11,13,354).

Here are some points in this big story:

.Maharashtra, which is at the centre of India’s Covid resurgence, is likely to release new standard operating procedures by April 1 to curb the spread of the virus. A full lockdown, however, is unlikely as of now. A second review meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to discuss the future course of action will take place today.

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.As Covid cases escalate, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh Tuesday ordered an extension of curbs till April 10, while directing the health department to increase the number of vaccination sites and target priority categories on an urgent basis. In wake of 40 women in Patiala’s Naba Open jail testing positive for coronavirus, the chief minister also ordered the launch of a vaccination drive in prisons. Expressing grave concern, Amarinder also directed officials to issue the necessary directions for carrying out testing and vaccination in busy market areas.

.National Conference president and Lok Sabha MP Farooq Abdullah has tested positive for Covid-19, his son Omar announced on Tuesday. “My father has tested positive for Covid-19 and is showing some symptoms. I will be self-isolating along with other family members until we get ourselves tested,” Omar tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished for the speedy recovery of National Conference President Farooq Abdullah who tested positive for Covid-19. Taking to Twitter, Modi said, ‘Praying for the good health and speedy recovery of Dr. Farooq Abdullah Ji. Also praying for your and the entire family’s good health.”

.Six states, including Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, have reported a high number of daily COVID-19 cases and account for 78.56 per cent of the 56,211 fresh cases recorded in the country in a day, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

.DGCA issues circular for ‘enhanced surveillance’ at airports

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In a circular, the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has called for ‘enhanced surveillance’ for Covid-19 protocols at airports across the country.

‘During the surveillance of some airports, it has come to notice the compliance is not satisfactory. All airports operators, therefore, are requested to ensure that the instructions on Covid-19 protocol from the standpoint of wearing face masks properly, as well as maintaining social distance norms within the airport premises are followed scrupulously,’ the DGCA said.

The aviation regulator also told airports to consider imposing spot fines, with the help of police authorities, on passengers who are found not wearing masks properly and not maintaining social distancing.

.Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and his wife took the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Delhi Heart and Lung Institute on Tuesday. His wife Nutan Goel first took the jab of Covaxin after which Vardhan also took the vaccine shot.

.Centre on Tuesday said that those above 45 years can now make an appointment for vaccination on the CoWIN portal. On-site registration will be allowed from April 1 after 3 pm, it added.

.Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has said there are seven more COVID-19 vaccine candidates in various stages of clinical trials, and a further two dozen in pre-clinical trials, At present India has two vaccines – AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. Both Covaxin and Covishield are effective against the UK, Brazilian variant of the virus, the government said. Work is on against the South African variant.

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.Eight states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka and Punjab, account for 84.5 per cent of the 68,020 fresh cases recorded in the country, the Union Health Ministry said Monday. The national capital recorded over 1,900 new cases on the same day, the highest in around three-and-a-half months.

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