Times of India | 5 days ago | 23-06-2022 | 04:53 am
NEW DELHI: The city on Wednesday logged 928 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking its overall tally to 19,24,532. The positivity rate stood at 7.08%, down from 7.22% on Tuesday. This is the first time since June 13 that the infection count in the city is below the 1,000 mark. Between June 14 and June 21, Delhi had witnessed more than 1,000 cases daily. On June 17, it had logged 1,797 cases. Three more fatalities were also recorded on Wednesday, bringing Delhi’s Covid toll to 26,239. So far this month, the city has seen 31 deaths linked to the virus. On Monday, six people had succumbed to the disease, the highest number of fatalities in a day since February 24, when five people had died. Currently, 263 Covid patients are admitted to hospitals. While 89 patients are in ICU, 70 others are on oxygen support, 17 of them on ventilators. Among the Covid facilities, Lok Nayak hospital has the highest number of admitted patients, i.e., 27. “Three of the patients are on ventilator and Bipap while the oxygen levels of others are stable. Two pregnant women who tested positive for Covid were also admitted. One of them delivered a baby, who tested negative. There have been a few deaths at the hospital, but all of the patients had comorbidities, such as kidney ailments or cancer,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director, Lok Nayak hospital. He, however, did not give details of the number of Covid deaths at the hospital this month. At GTB hospital, four deaths have been recorded in June so far, including that of a three-month-old baby, a 98-year-old woman, a 54-year-old man and another man in his 30s. “The baby was suffering from septicemia while the woman had cardiovascular issues. Another patient had TB and was HIV-positive while the fourth person had a chest infection. All the deaths were incidental Covid cases, none was brought to the hospital after testing positive for the virus,” said Dr Subhash Giri, medical director, GTB hospital. Dr Vikramjeet Singh, senior consultant (internal medicine) at Dwarka’s Aakash Healthcare, explained that the virus, notwithstanding which variant it is, affects the lungs and damages the alveoli, putting a patient at the risk of respiratory failure. “It also affects the clotting system and can lead to embolism. When someone goes into respiratory failure, there’s always the risk of death. In the last wave, there were many hospitalisations but deaths remained relatively low. There is an increased risk of death in patients with comorbidities, such as diabetes or heart and kidney ailments, and respiratory problems like asthma,” he said.
At 23 per cent, the Covid positivity rate in Pune in the week ending June 27 was twice that of Maharashtra, according to a state health department report. The Covid weekly positivity rate for Mumbai and Thane in the period was recorded at 16 per cent each.At present, Maharashtra’s weekly Covid positivity rate stands at 12 per cent.According to data, Mumbai has shown an 11 per cent decline in new Covid infections in the week June 21-27 with 12,479 cases being detected vis a vis 14,089 in the preceding week. In contrast, Pune has shown a 66 per cent rise in new Covid infections in the week June 21-27 with 3,583 cases being detected as compared to 2,157 in the preceding week.Experts say there has to be a sustained decrease in the number of cases in the next three to four weeks to affirm whether cases have peaked and are now showing a decline. “This can be anecdotal but patients who contacted me last week with symptoms like fever, cold and cough have tested positive for Covid. A number of them are using rapid antigen tests to get quick results,” Dr Sanjay Pujari, infectious diseases consultant, said.Tally of BA.3, BA.4 patients reaches 63According to the latest report from the National Institute of Virology, seven patients of BA.5 and two of BA.4 variants of Omicron have been detected in the state. These include four from Palghar, three from Raigad and two from Thane from samples collected from May 31 to June 11. 🚨 Limited Time Offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2/ day 👉🏽 Click here to subscribe 🚨In all, there are 63 patients of BA.4 and BA.5 of which 15 are from Pune, 33 from Mumbai, four each from Nagpur, Thane and Palghar, and three from Raigad.
Kochi: Since June first week, when India saw re-emergence of new Covid cases due to sub-lineages of Omicron, Kerala has reported maximum new Covid deaths in the country. Between June 1 and June 25, Kerala reported 127 new deaths and 65,811 new cases. In other words, there were on an average five new deaths everyday. There were 78 backlog deaths during this period in the state.In contrast, Maharashtra, which has reported the maximum number of new Covid cases, 69,087, during this period, is reporting a much lesser number of Covid deaths 40. Delhi, which was among the first few states to see a spike in cases by mid April, in June, reported 22,611 new cases and 39 deaths. Even in neighbouring states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, the new Covid cases as well as deaths remain very low. While Karnataka reported 12,600 new cases in 25 days of June, there were only seven Covid deaths, in Tamil Nadu only one death was reported after 11,398 persons tested positive and Telangana despite 5,344 new cases didn’t report a single Covid death during this period.“We have a huge vulnerable population elderly and people with non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Majority of deaths here now are because of comorbidities and Covid is coincidental. Purely Covid-19 deaths are less now in Kerala,” said Dr Jayakrishnan A V, chairman of Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) committee on Covid vaccines and vaccination. Public health experts believe that the Kerala government, to protect the vulnerable, should strictly implement SMS social distancing, masking and sanitizing. Also, symptomatic people should be encouraged to quarantine themselves. What is now happening is that the symptomatic are freely moving around and going to the office, market and spreading the infection to the vulnerable section of the society. Also, even the symptomatics who are testing now are either those who have comorbidities or those who want to avail sick leave. “What we are seeing now is cluster-based Covid spread that is limited largely to 10 states in the country. In a few states, new Covid cases have started to dip,” said Krishna Prasad N C, state health department official who has been analysing Covid-19 data since 2020.“The fatality rates are not alarming and much lesser than what we saw during the Omicron wave. Of course, at present Kerala has a high number of deaths when compared to other states, but even then it is not alarming,” he added.
Maharashtra, which is witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases, recorded 46 fatalities in June, the most in a month since March. More than 70 per cent of these deaths — 33 — have been recorded in Mumbai.With the flattening of the pandemic curve, the state only reported 9,185 cases with five deaths in May — the lowest Covid-19 fatality rate reported since the beginning of the outbreak in March 2020. But as cases climbed, indicating the possible onset of a fourth wave, Covid deaths increased nine-fold compared to previous months in the state. As of June 26, the state registered a total of 74,499 new Covid-19 cases with 46 deaths.Although the number of deaths has climbed, public health officials say the trend isn’t concerning as the case fatality rate remains as low as 0.06 per cent.“Most of the deceased patients were elderly and had several underlying health issues like hypertension, diabetes, cardiac and kidney ailments, among others. Due to these health issues, their health condition deteriorates faster,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, executive health officer, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).Though recent reports indicate the presence of new Omicron variants in a few cities across the country, they are unlikely to become ‘variants of concern’, say doctors.Anticipating further spread of the virus, as seen in the last three pandemic waves, the public health department is making logistic arrangements to handle increased flow of patients. But as the severity of the infection is mild, most patients are recovering in home quarantine.“The new variants of Omicron — BA.4 and BA.5 — are causing the spike in cases. It is expected that it will spread further but that’s the nature of a virus. But our focus should be on the hospitalisation and death rates, which are still under control,” said Dr Pradip Awate, state surveillance officer.
NEW DELHI: Though the number of Covid cases in the capital is witnessing ups and downs, experts believe that the daily infection figure could be much higher than reported. Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant, internal medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, said: “Investigations are happening at home, people are conducting self-tests with new kits. I don't think the numbers are too low, but the good thing is that there are no serious cases. In Delhi, the vaccination coverage has been good," he said. On Sunday, the government hadn’t released the Covid data at the time of going to press. “We need to have more genome sequencing in government setups to understand the strain of Covid currently rampant. It will help the medical fraternity follow the cases in a better way. Once immunised, even the Delta variant doesn't act in a very dangerous way. However, now-a-days we hardly prescribe any medications. Most cases are settling down in 3-4 days,” Dr Chatterjee stated. On Saturday, six more deaths were reported due to Covid in Delhi while the positivity rate stood at 7.8%. “Delta caused severe pneumonia even among the younger people. We are not seeing that anymore. There are occasional cases, but those are becoming so rare that it is not remarkable to talk about. Covid can be a factor in bringing forward deaths. There are several organ systems working together in a body. When Covid strikes, the equilibrium is lost,” said D. Rajeev Jayadevan, co-chairman, national IMA Covid task force. “We don't have any record of new variants outside the Omicron family, whatever infections are happening now are all sub-variants of it. In Europe, some serious cases are coming in, but details are yet to be evaluated. In India, B.A.4 and B.A.5 are not yet dominant. Sampling has to be done in every cluster,” he said.
After repeated fire incidents in hospitals across Maharashtra amid the pandemic, over 500 government hospitals have been audited in the state. For the work related to the fire safety compliance in hospitals, the state government has, for the first time, approved a fund of Rs200 crore.Under the district planning and development committee (DPDC), 25 per cent of the funds have been reserved for the health sector. “Of the funds allocated for the health sector, Rs 200 crore has been sanctioned for ensuring compliance with fire safety measures in hospitals,” N Ramaswamy, commissioner, National Health Mission, Maharashtra, said.The state has already released Rs 19 crore for the purpose of ensuring fire safety in hospitals.Nearly 53 people lost their lives in fire outbreaks in hospitals amid the pandemic in 2021. Majority of the victims were Covid-19 patients. The string of such incidents started with a devastating fire at the Bhandara District Hospital on January 9 that led to the death of ten infants. It was followed by multiple fire incidents in Mumbai.The worst of the incidents took place on November 6, last year when a fire broke out at the ICU of Ahmednagar Civil Hospital, claiming the lives of 14 Covid patients. Preliminary investigation showed that most of the Covid care centers and hospitals in the state lacked adequate fire-fighting equipment.To gauge the violations of fire safety rules, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in April, instructed all the districts to audit the hospitals. With the audit now concluded, the government has set sights on plugging the holes and ensuring fire safety compliance at hospitals over the next six months.In the last three months, the state audited a total of 511 tertiary-care and peripheral hospitals other than primary health centres for implementation of fire safety rules. The inspection was conducted on the watch of the PWD department.“The fire safety gaps have been analysed for total compliance. Work has been initiated for the implementation of suggestions,” Ramaswamy said, adding, “Along with medical colleges and tertiary-level hospitals, we have also audited primary health care centres.”