Coronavirus India Roundup April 15: 170 districts classified as hotspots, 1,076 new cases, spitting in public now illegal
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website, 11,933 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the country so far, along with 392 deaths.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website, 11,933 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the country so far, along with 392 deaths. Of these, 1,076 cases were reported in the last 24 hours and 1,344 have recovered.
The country will be divided into three zones - hotspot districts (red zones), non-hotspot districts (white zones) and green districts (or zones). Hotspot districts are those where the rate of infection is increasing rapidly and many clusters have been reported, non-hotspot zones are those where cases have been reported but are slowing down, and green districts are those with no active cases or new cases in the last 14 days.
House to house surveys will be conducted in hotspot districts, and only movement for essential services will be allowed in these areas. The centre has declared 170 districts as hotspots or red zones so far whereas 353 districts come under green zones.
Give the current circumstances, the Union Home Ministry has declared spitting in public to a punishable offence under the Disaster Management Act in the revised lockdown guidelines issued today. The guidelines also mention that there be no relaxation on liquor sale, following which Assam withdrew an order passed on 12th April that allowed it.
Thousands of migrants gather at Mumbai’s Bandra station following lockdown extension
After PM Modi announced the extension of the national lockdown until May 3, around 2,000 labour migrants assembled at Mumbai’s Bandra’s station, determined to get to their homes after being stranded three weeks ago.
The Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that there were rumours circulating about special train services that would transport those away from home. There was, in fact, a South Central Railway (SCR) internal letter that floated the idea as a suggestion, however, it was manipulated to suggest that a decision had already been made. Officials said that stringent action would be taken against those responsible for circulating the fake message.
Initial videos showed police trying to subdue the workers and then resorting to lathi-charging to disperse the crowd. According to sources on the ground, migrants have been complaining about a lack of funds and food on some days and want to be with their families during the crisis.
Expert committee set up to study high mortality rate and sudden deterioration in hospital cases in Maharashtra
A nine-member committee has been set up to analyze the high mortality from COVID-19 in Maharashtra. The state’s figures suggest a rate of 6.5-7%, which dwarfs figures of 0.9-1.85% in other high-incidence states like Tamil Nadu and Delhi. The committee will update the clinical management protocol for severe cases, and every death will need to be reported to the committee.
Reports from Mumbai, which bears a disproportionate number of cases in the state, have also shown that a large number of patients die within a day of getting admitted to hospitals. According to some reports, 26 of the first 50 deaths died on the day of admission itself, 14 of those within a few hours. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), 85% of the deceased had underlying conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
An analysis by The Indian Express has also shown that some patients were initially denied treatment from several hospitals before finally getting admitted, losing crucial time. A more detailed report by the expert committee should shed some light on these concerning developments.
Spike in Delhi deaths prompts increased testing
At last count, 30 COVID-19 deaths had been reported in the capital, half of which had been reported in the last four days. According to officials, all cases of deaths involved comorbidities. Given the sudden uptick in deaths, the city will conduct 20,000 rapid tests across 5 days to cover populations in hotspots and those admitted to hospitals with respiratory issues. On average, Delhi conducts just over 1,000 tests a day, so eight private labs will be roped in to assist. Following ICMR guidelines, all those with influenza-like symptoms in hotspots will be tested.
For more information, read our article on Face covers to battle COVID-19.
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