Coronavirus India Roundup, April 23: Over 5 lakh tests conducted, Gujarat sees rise in cases, Dharavi situation escalates
Gujarat’s confirmed cases have tripled in a week. On 15th April, the state had 766 cases, and by the 22nd, there were 2,407 cases.
According to the latest press briefing by the Health Ministry, 1,409 new cases and 388 recoveries were reported across the country in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases has risen to 21,700, with 4,324 cumulatively recovered.
The health ministry also added that over five lakh tests have been conducted so far and that testing capacity has been increased 22 times since the lockdown began.
Gujarat sees a surge in cases and deaths
Gujarat’s confirmed cases have tripled in a week. On 15th April, the state had 766 cases, and by the 22nd, there were 2,407 cases. Similarly, deaths have multiplied as well; from 36 on the 15th to 103 by yesterday.
The state is now second only to Maharashtra which has 5,649 cases and 270 deaths. Ahmedabad has the most cases within the state at 1,298, followed by Surat and Vadodara with 338 and 188 cases respectively.
In more encouraging news, not one of the seven states in the Northeast has reported a case in the last five days.
Private labs picking up; Maharashtra now has a majority of tests done in private facilities
In Maharashtra, private labs conducted more than double the number of tests compared to government laboratories on Tuesday, and of the cumulative 41,794 tests in the state, 50.78% have been conducted in private labs.
The surge in private lab tests has been attributed to widening the net of those who can get tested. Physicians are also recommending the test to asymptomatic people as the state fights to contain the virus. The Supreme Court ruling that dictated free tests for all in private labs initially reduced the capacity of the private sector as it came to terms with the decision. However, after the SC amended the ruling to include only Ayushman Bharat holders in its ambit, private labs jumped back into action. Over the last seven days, private labs conducted over 3,100 tests daily on average, whereas government labs conducted just over 2,100.
Private sector contribution in Delhi is modest in comparison, with around 25% of the tests being conducted in private labs.
Centre tells Maharashtra authorities to step up response in Dharavi
Mumbai’s Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum, reported nine new cases today taking the total there to 189. The area is spread over two square kilometres and is home to over 8.5 lakh people - the fear is that an outbreak there could be catastrophic.
An inter-ministerial central team (IMCT) that was sent to the area has told BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) to step up quarantine facilities from 1,000 to 3,000 beds. Further, local authorities have also been told to step up contact tracing in the area. So far, 680 people have been placed in institutional quarantine, of whom 210 have been released.
For more information, read our article on When is an area considered a hot spot?
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