Coronavirus India Update, May 19: Cases cross 1 lakh, Ministry releases guidelines for reopening of offices
In the last 24 hours, around 4,970 new cases and 134 deaths were reported, raising the total number of cases to 1,01,139 and the death toll to 3,164.
The total number of COVID-19 cases has crossed the mark of one lakh in India. In the last 24 hours, around 4,970 new cases and 134 deaths were reported across the country, raising the total number of cases to 1,01,139 and the death toll to 3,164. India has seen a consistent hike in the daily number of cases being reported in the past 12 days.
The country entered phase four of the lockdown on 18th May as the number of new cases kept on rising, indicating that the infection has not reached the peak yet. Despite the increase in the number of cases, there have been considerable relaxations in the green and orange zone in the fourth lockdown.
Health ministry allows people to return to their offices while following the mandatory guidelines
Since the offices are reopening, the health ministry has issued some guidelines to prevent the spread of potential infection in the workplace. The guidelines include maintenance of physical distance of at least one metre all the time even in corridors and staircases, compulsory face masks, frequent washing of hands and use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers. The office staff is advised to follow respiratory etiquette by covering the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing and reporting any change in their health status.
Separate committees have been set for taking care of COVID-19 patients with comorbidities in Tamil Nadu
The Tamil Nadu government has formed 12 different committees to pay special attention to people with comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and tuberculosis and other at-risk populations like those who have pediatric or gynaecological problems. The aim of forming these committees is to protect these people from the COVID-19 infection by providing them with immunity-boosting supplements and by counselling them on how they can take care of themselves during the pandemic. These committees are formed with the partnership of government and the respective private associations such as those for diabetes and hypertension. The government has also taken support from the local NGOs which would help the medical officials to keep a keen eye on the health status of these risk-bearing patients through telemedicine. This would ensure care for patients with comorbidities at the earliest.
BMC takes over the private hospitals in Mumbai, converts public places into quarantine centres
Mumbai has emerged at the epicentre of COVID-19 in India. With more than 35,000 cases, Maharashtra accounts for one-third of the total cases of COVID-19 in the country. Of these, 21,335 cases are Mumbai. Due to the increasing number of cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has reportedly asked the private hospitals to reserve 80% of their beds and intensive care units (ICUs) for COVID-19 patients. The charges of the beds would be fixed by the government and paid by BMC. Mumbai is using many of its iconic landmarks to cope with the lack of space for isolation and quarantine facilities. Places like Bandra Kurla Complex, Nehru planetarium, National Sports Club of India and Mahim Nature Park are being modified into quarantine centres.
For more information, read our article on COVID-19 prevention steps every office must take after the lockdown.
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