Kerala clocks highest cases in day, Delhi reports third wave; serosurvey shows nearly 2 cr infected in Karnataka
The number of active COVID-19 cases in India remained below six lakh for the sixth consecutive day due to a sustained fall in the mortality rate and a large number of patients recuperating from the disease daily, the health ministry said
India recorded 46,253 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours while several states reported new daily highs in confirmed cases, including in National Capital Delhi where the local government Wednesday accepted that it's seeing a "third wave" of coronavirus infections.
With 83 lakh confirmed coronavirus cases, India is the world's second most affected country, behind only the United States. The Central government has warned that the cases may spike during the ongoing festival season, asking people to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
The dry air during the ongoing winter season in India is another cause of worry. Recently, scientists found that smaller droplets during cough can travel up to 6.6 metres using wind and even further under dry air conditions.
Based on figures released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India has reported less than 50,000 infections daily for 10 straight days.
The nationwide active cases have dropped significantly since it reached a peak in September peak when the country reported over 97,000 daily infections. The number of active COVID-19 cases in India remained below six lakh for the sixth consecutive day due to a sustained fall in the mortality rate and a large number of patients recuperating from the disease daily, the health ministry said.
There are 5,33,787 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country as of Wednesday which comprises only 6.42 percent of the total caseload, while the total number of recoveries has surged to 76,56,478 pushing the national recovery rate to over 92 percent.
Serosurvey shows 1.93 cr in Karnataka likely infected
Meanwhile, a serosurvey conducted in Karnataka between 3 to 16 September across 30 districts showed that at least 1.93 crore or 27.3 percent of the people in the state are either infected by coronavirus or had the infection in the past.
As per the official COVID-19 figures released by the state, Karnataka has recorded 8,35,773 confirmed cases so far, which is just 1.18 percent of Karnataka's estimated population of 7.07 crore.
On Wednesday, the state reported 3,377 fresh coronavirus cases and 34 deaths, taking the toll from the virus to 11,281, according to a bulletin from the state health department said. The state has 35,693 active cases.
Meanwhile, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, appreciated the Karnataka government overmeasures to control COVID-19 and advised it to evolve strategies during the festive season and winter to further curb the spread.
Delhi sees third wave, surge continues in Kerala
And while the serosurvey paints a different picture, the recent surge in Delhi, Kerala and West Bengal remains a concern.
Kerala clocked 8,516 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest tally of daily cases from any state in the country on Wednesday.
The fresh cases include 67 health workers.
Health minister K KShailaja said on Wednesday that 8,206 patients have recovered from the disease in the state. The toll has climbed to 1,587 with 28 recent deaths due to the disease, the minister said in a press release.
Delhi recorded more than 6,800 fresh COVID-19 cases for the first time on Wednesday taking the infection tally in the National Capital to over 4.09 lakh, while 51 new fatalities pushed the toll to 6,703, authorities said.
The positivity rate stood at 11.61 percent amid the festive season and rising pollution in the city, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department.
Amid the rising cases, the Delhi government announced on Wednesday that it has started conducting targeted COVID-19 tests in markets and other crowded areas to strengthen its surveillance mechanism.
With 6,842 fresh cases detected following the 58,910 tests conducted the previous day, Delhi cases exceed even Maharashtra, which added 5,505 new cases on Wednesday, according to the state's health department.
Recoveries continued to outstrip fresh infections in Maharashtra with 8,728 patients getting recuperated on Wednesday. The state also reported 125 deaths, taking the fatality count to 44,548. Maharashtra has total confirmed cases at 16,98,198.
Senior Maharashtra BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis was on Wednesday discharged from a state-run hospital here after undergoing treatment for COVID-19 infection, a doctor said. The former chief minister had tested positive for coronavirus on 25 October 25 following which he was admitted in the St George's Hospital in south Mumbai.
West Bengal reported 3,987 new cases on Wednesday pushing the tally to 3,89,576 while the toll from the virus mounted to 7,068 after 55 more people succumbed to the disease.
Bengal on Wednesday also registered the highest single-day recovery of 4,129 COVID-19 patients, taking the total number of cured people to 3,46,262, the health department said in a bulletin. The number of active cases currently is 36,246.
Odisha CM tells officials to strictly enforce guidelines
The recent surge in Delhi, Kerala and West Bengal has raised alarm bells in Odisha. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday told officials to strictly enforce the COVID-19 guidelines in the state in order to avoid a second wave of infection after mid-December.
Patnaik said this while reviewing the prevailing corona situation in the state. He said the state should remain on alert from today in order to avoid the second wave.
Odisha's COVID-19 caseload mounted to 2,95,889 on Wednesday as 1,474 more people tested positive for the infection, while 12 fresh fatalities pushed the coronavirus toll to 1,364, a health department official said. As many as 855 new cases were reported in quarantine centres, while 619 infections were detected during contact tracing, he said.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu on Wednesday recorded 2,487 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 7.34 lakh and the toll rose to 11,244 with 30 more fatalities. In continuation of the trend of a decline in new cases and more recoveries, 2,504 patients were discharged from various hospitals and active cases dipped to 19,154 while 7.04 lakh people have got cured till date, a health department bulletin said.
The total coronavirus positive cases increased to 8,33,208 in Andhra Pradesh with the addition of 2,477 on Wednesday but the overall infection positivity rate dropped below ten percent after about four months. After a total of 83,42,265 sample tests, the overall infection positivity rate stood at 9.99 per cent but Andhra Pradesh now boasts a recovery rate of 96.62 percent, the highest in the country.
Uttar Pradesh reported 2,204 fresh cases, taking the total count of coronavirus infections on Wednesday to 4,89,502 and the number of fatalities rose to 7,104 with 16 more deaths, official data showed.
Haryana on Wednesday reported 1,952 fresh novel coronavirus cases taking the caseload to 1,74,082 while 19 more fatalities took the COVID-19 related death toll in the state to 1,836, official data showed.
The tally of coronavirus infection in Rajasthan rose to 2.03 lakh on Wednesday recording 1,770 new cases in a day, while the death toll reached 1,945 with nine more people succumbing to the disease.
The tally of coronavirus cases in Gujarat rose to 1,76,608 with 975 new cases being reported on Wednesday, the state health department said. With six fatalities, the state's COVID-19 toll went up to 3,740, it said.
As many as 69 prisoners and two staff members of a sub-jail at Modasa town in Gujarat's Aravalli district have tested coronavirus positive, an official said on Wednesday. They were found infected after a rapid antigen test, he said.
The COVID-19 tally in Madhya Pradesh reached 1,74,091 on Wednesday with the detection of 707 fresh cases, state health department said. With 13 more patients succumbing to the infection in the last 24 hours, the cumulative toll mounted to 2,987, a health official said.
Fourteen more deaths due to coronavirus in Punjab took the death toll to 4,259, according to a medical bulletin issued on Wednesday. The surfacing of 527 new cases took the infection tally to 1,35,313 in the state, it said.
Whereas, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir reported 512 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally up to 96,700. Nine deaths took place in the UT in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 1,511, officials said.
Out of the fresh cases, 186 were from Jammu division and 326 from Kashmir valley, they said.
The neighbouring Ladakh, recorded 84 fresh cases of COVID-19 , taking the virus caseload in the union territory to 6441, according to an official bulletin. The union territory has recorded a total of 76 deaths, while 5701 patients have been cured of the novel disease so far.
Abnormal "fused cells" behind lung damage in COVID-19
Scientists have analysed organ samples from deceased COVID-19 patients and found extensive lung damage in most cases caused by the persistence of abnormal "fused cells," an advance which sheds more light on the progression of the disease.
The researchers, including those from King's College London in the UK, examined lung, heart, liver, and kidney samples of 41 patients who died of COVID-19 to examine the behaviour of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
Poland reports nearly 25,000 cases in day
Meanwhile, Poland reported a record 24,692 new coronavirus infections and 373 deaths on Wednesday, while Denmark announced Wednesday that the government will cull its entire herd of up to 17 million mink after a mutation of the coronavirus found in the animals spread to humans.
Russia in the meanwhile reported a new record in daily cases.
The country's prime minister said that the decision has been taken to ensure there's no risk to any possible future vaccine.
The Swiss government is deploying the army for a second time this year to help Switzerland’s beleaguered health system respond to a surge in coronavirus cases.
In UK, the chair of Britain’s coronavirus vaccine task force said that data evaluating the efficacy and safety of the two most advanced candidates — developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and Pfizer and BioNTech — should be available in early December.
“If we get that, we have the possibility of deploying by year end,” Kate Bingham told a Parliamentary committee on Wednesday
In related news, COVID-19 's impact on companies across the world became more visible as Britain's Marks & Spencer reported the first loss in its 94 years as a publicly listed company after clothing sales were hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With inputs from agencies
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
The Delhi government has sent a proposal to Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal to roll back its decision to allow public gathering of 200 people and restricted the number to 50 now
As race to COVID-19 vaccine heats up, a look at major jabs, development and clinical trials underway
According to WHO, there are 48 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are undergoing clinical evaluation, of which eleven are at late-stage trials, whereas, 164 candidate vaccines are in preclinical evaluation
COVID-19 vaccine to reach 30 cr by July-Aug, says Harsh Vardhan; healthcare workers, people above 65 yrs priority
Stating that everything is being decided by experts with a scientific point of view, the Union health minister expressed confidence that the COVID-19 vaccine will be ready in the next three to four months