Delhi reports 1,383 new Covid cases amid call to ramp up testing

Times of India | 4 days ago | 22-06-2022 | 04:36 am

Delhi reports 1,383 new Covid cases amid call to ramp up testing

NEW DELHI: Delhi on Tuesday recorded 1,383 fresh infections with the positivity rate falling to 7.22% owing to increased testing. One fatality was reported compared with six on Monday, when 1,060 new cases were reported with a positivity rate of 10.09% from 10,506 tests. The number of patients admitted to hospitals went up on Tuesday. Delhi Corona app showed 259 patients with 75 in the ICU and 64 on oxygen support, including 11 on ventilator support. Gurgaon, meanwhile, reported 389 new cases on Tuesday with a positivity rate of 9.7%. It has recorded 5,499 cases this month, averaging 262 daily. Currently, it has 1,683 active cases, with 22 patients admitted to hospitals. Between June 1 and 12, less than 10 patients were in hospitals. Since June 14, between 13 and 22 patients have been hospitalised. The Gurgaon administration notified five micro-containment zones on the recommendation of the health department after a task force meeting. The sealed areas include Tower D in Block-A of Silverglades The Ivy (Sushant Lok-I), Tower B4 of Aloha Apartments (Sector 57), Block-D of Grand Arch Spectre (Sector 58), a house in DLF-III and a flat in Sheeba Apartments (Sector 28). With 99 new cases, Faridabad has recorded 1,301 cases this month, a daily average of 62. The positivity rate was 7.6%. Noida recorded 125 cases on Tuesday, taking the tally of active cases to 606. The positivity rate was 6.25%. As many as 15 patients are in hospitals. With 55 new cases, Ghaziabad’s tally has touched 612 this month. Currently, it has 317 active cases and a positivity rate of 1.1%. In all, seven patients are in hospital. Covid-19 cases started rising in Delhi from June 7, but the daily testing capacity has remained less. In the last two weeks, there were only two days when sample collection was above 21,000. On the rest of the days, around 19,000 tests were conducted. Despite the surge, Delhi government has not increased the testing capacity. A spokesperson said Delhi government had the capacity to test about one lakh samples daily. “We have not given any instructions for taking fewer samples. The focus is on RT-PCR and we have got all the necessary facilities to ramp up testing. The samples collected are fewer because there has not been any major surge in cases. No one is refused a Covid test and around 20,000 people are turning up for it daily,” he added. However, Dr Lalit Kant, former scientist and head, epidemiology and communicable diseases division, ICMR, said, “If we increase the number of samples, daily cases will also go up. More tests should be conducted to understand which variant is leading the surge. Genome sequencing is much needed to evaluate the presence of B.A 4 and B.A 5, which are becoming the dominant factor in the US and European countries.”

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Maharashtra approves Rs 200 crore for fire safety compliance in over 500 hospitals
The Indian Express | 4 hours ago | 26-06-2022 | 10:45 pm
The Indian Express
4 hours ago | 26-06-2022 | 10:45 pm

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.”

Maharashtra approves Rs 200 crore for fire safety compliance in over 500 hospitals
Maharashtra Reports 6,493 Fresh Covid Cases; Experts Say Fourth Wave Likely To Start In July
India | 4 hours ago | 26-06-2022 | 10:45 pm
India
4 hours ago | 26-06-2022 | 10:45 pm

Maharashtra COVID Fourth Wave Latest Update: As Maharashtra continues to report rising number of cases, experts are of the opinion that the COVID Fourth Wave may start in the state from next month that is July 2022. On Sunday, Maharashtra reported 6,493 fresh COVID-19 cases, while active caseload went up to 24,608. Over 6213 patients were discharged from hospitals and 77,90,153 COVID-19 patients discharged after full recovery until June 26. However, the recovery rate in the state stands at 97.83%. Five COVID-19 deaths were reported in the state today and the fatality rate in the state stands at 1.85%.Also Read - Chennai Corporation Increases Contact Tracing Due To Surge In Covid Infection In StateIn the meantime, it is being reported that the total tally of BA.4 and BA5 patients in the state has gone up to 54. Of the total new variants, 15 were reported in Pune, 33 in Mumbai, four in Nagpur and two in Thane. As of June 26, there are 24,608 active cases in the state. Also Read - Covid Vaccines Not Working On Newer Omicron Sub-Variants, Finds StudyWith the rising cases of coronavirus in the state, the risks of a possible fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic is looming large and the experts believe the onset will begin in July, and is estimated to last till October. Also Read - Health Minister Reviews COVID Situation, Asks Officials to Increase Surveillance, Testing Amid Rising CasesThey say that if the daily positivity rate goes above 5%, the virus is considered uncontrollable and the fourth wave is estimated to peak in the month of August.Moreover, Maharashtra Minister Aditya Thackeray said the state could be witnessing the fourth wave of Covid-19. However, he urged all not to panic due to the rising infections.On Friday, Maharashtra reported 4,205 new COVID-19 cases, taking the overall count to 79,54,445, while the death toll increased to 1,47,896 with the addition of three fresh fatalities linked to the infection, the state health department said.On Thursday, the state had logged 5,218 COVID-19 cases and one death. Significantly, the number of active COVID-19 cases surpassed the 25,000-mark, indicating a widening gap between new and recovered coronavirus patients.

Maharashtra Reports 6,493 Fresh Covid Cases; Experts Say Fourth Wave Likely To Start In July
Bengaluru IKEA store trends on Twitter after pictures of queues go viral
The Indian Express | 7 hours ago | 26-06-2022 | 07:45 pm
The Indian Express
7 hours ago | 26-06-2022 | 07:45 pm

Bengaluru residents have not been able to keep calm ever since Swedish home furnishing brand IKEA opened its first store in the Nagasandra area of the IT capital. The store has witnessed overwhelming response from citizens, resulting in long, meandering queues.The footfall increased over the weekend as residents found time to explore and shop at the newly opened store. The waiting time at the store spiked to three hours Saturday and the official Twitter account of IKEA confirmed the same. “Bengaluru, we are overwhelmed by your response❣️ Current wait time at Nagasandra store is 3 hours. Please plan accordingly or shop online.”Videos and photographs documenting long queues at IKEA have flooded social media platforms. Memes poking fun at the crowd have also generated quite a buzz.Harsh Goenka, the chairman of RPG Enterprises, shared a clip and wrote, “It’s not MLAs queuing in Maharashtra to form government, It’s not an immigration queue to enter our country, It’s not a vaccination queue to avoid Covid wave, It’s not pilgrims queueing in Tirupati for darshan, It’s the opening of IKEA store in Bangalore!”It’s not MLAs queuing in Maharashtra to form government,It’s not an immigration queue to enter our country,It’s not a vaccination queue to avoid Covid wave,It’s not pilgrims queueing in Tirupati for darshan,It’s the opening of IKEA store in Bangalore! pic.twitter.com/Qqnd0p9n8v— Harsh Goenka (@hvgoenka) June 26, 2022Crowd waiting to enter new IKEA store in Bangalore, India. Hopefully, not for meat balls! pic.twitter.com/bZSoiUPFjL— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) June 25, 2022IKEA store opened…People: pic.twitter.com/GlcNNZuKTv— Bengaluru Betala (@gururaj_mj) June 26, 2022IKEA store opens in BangalorePeople: pic.twitter.com/Hx29OE2Ehn— Hemant (@Sportscasmm) June 26, 2022Me entering Nagasandra metro station after shopping from IKEA pic.twitter.com/OAyWqVh3px— JT Meme Store (@kaapi_kudka) June 24, 2022NothingJust Bangalore people going to IKEA pic.twitter.com/qDDk5ibZaz— Anish (@Aniiiiish) June 26, 2022Perhaps, the biggest footfall nagasandra metro station has ever seen in its lifetime has been seen today 😄 courtesy of ikea #ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು #ikeablr #ikea pic.twitter.com/Q27sQG5x0G— Prasanna | ಪ್ರಸನ್ನ (@terminalfix) June 25, 2022IKEA Darshan waiting time 3-4 hours.Haven't gone there, got it from a friend. pic.twitter.com/avS51NDC6z— Dr. Vijay (@Helth_z_Wealth) June 25, 2022Places you can go in three hours from Bengaluru.MysoreChikmagalurHassanShivanasamudra FallsNow IKEA Store also#EIIRHumor #Bengaluru #IKEA pic.twitter.com/FK0eLOEOTb— Pareekh Jain (@pareekhjain) June 26, 2022Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai inaugurated IKEA’s Nagasandra store Wednesday. Spread over 4.6 lakh sq ft, the store is the largest IKEA outlet in the country and is located close to the Nagasandra station of Bengaluru Namma metro.The Bengaluru IKEA store is the Swedish brand’s third outlet in India after the ones in Hyderabad and Mumbai. A company statement claims that the Bengaluru store features “over 7,000 affordable, good quality, sustainable and well-designed home furnishing IKEA products along with inspiring home sets to instill creative ideas to decorate your home.”

Bengaluru IKEA store trends on Twitter after pictures of queues go viral
Dr Samiran Panda: Next 4 to 6 weeks crucial to understand transmission dynamics
Times of India | 17 hours ago | 26-06-2022 | 09:33 am
Times of India
17 hours ago | 26-06-2022 | 09:33 am

PUNE: The additional director-general of Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr Samiran Panda, told TOI on Saturday that the next four to six weeks would be crucial to understand the disease transmission dynamics better, against the backdrop of the current uptick in Covid-19 cases. “The spike in certain districts in some states was observed from mid-June and we have to keep a close watch on them to understand the contributory factors. So far, the disease severity is not high and there is no indication of a fourth wave. The hospitalisation rate is not high, either,” he said. While Maharashtra and Kerala have 60% of total active cases in India, the Centre has expressed concern over rapidly increasing infections in states like Delhi, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The spike in daily cases over the last fortnight is more than double in some states, according to reports. Dr Panda said rise in cases in certain clusters was expected because of local-level determinants even as India was currently in the endemic phase. The top scientist of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said it was important to ensure that immunocompromised individuals and those with comorbidities did not contract the virus and the current goal of all states should be to protect such vulnerable groups. He said if cases would rise in July or if there would be a fourth wave would hinge on the emergence of any new variants. “The mathematical models may have cited such forecasts, but practically it would have to be seen after studying the present transmission dynamics in depth,” he said. Dr Panda iterated the importance of masks as a protective tool not just against Covid, but for all other respiratory infections and even air pollution-related issues. Epidemiologist Chandrakant Lahariya told TOI that it was time that one stopped thinking in terms of binaries of wave and no wave, and pandemic and endemic. “Virus is now with us and it is very likely that cases would rise and fall. Instead of focusing on daily new cases and test positivity rate, we should focus on high-risk individuals in settings where cases are rising and there is a need for such a vulnerable population to voluntarily use face masks,” he said. Senior advisor at Ashoka University and former senior deputy director-general and former head of epidemiology department at ICMR Dr Lalit Kant told TOI, “If the current spread is due to Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 sub- lineage like BA4 and/or BA5, it is unlikely that a wave-like condition would be produced, as a large proportion of the population has been vaccinated.”

Dr Samiran Panda: Next 4 to 6 weeks crucial to understand transmission dynamics
16 districts in Maharashtra bank on RAT more than RT-PCR
Times of India | 17 hours ago | 26-06-2022 | 09:25 am
Times of India
17 hours ago | 26-06-2022 | 09:25 am

PUNE: Sixteen districts in Maharashtra continue to bank on Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits more than the RT-PCR tests despite the recent rise in Covid-19 cases and the weekly positivity rate touching 11%. The government had mandated that the RT-PCR kits should be used more for Covid tests. Unless the RT-PCR tests are conducted, the positive samples cannot be sent for genome sequencing. A state health official said genome sequencing was critical at the current situation when the Covid cases ware slowly and steadily rising. Though the spike in cases is largely restricted to Mumbai, Pune, Raigad, Palghar and Thane, all other districts of Maharashtra have been directed to step up testing to find out if the Omicron sub-variants were detected in samples from those districts. The official said data revealed that districts such as Ahmednagar, Nashik, Satara and Jalgaon were carrying out more RAT than RT-PCR tests this week (See graphic). Ahmednagar collector RB Bhosale told TOI that the district had “enough laboratories” to carry out RT-PCR tests. “Many citizens on their own are using the RAT test kits. We have directed officials and also the laboratories to ensure that citizens opt for RT-PCR tests if they have Covid symptoms,” he said. The official said people found Covid positive following the RAT tests should also carry out the RT-PCR tests. A periodic analysis of the cases was necessary with respect to time, location and person to help the authorities formulate localised action plans. “Geographical distribution of the cases is important to find out the clusters,” state surveillance expert Dr Pradip Awate said. State additional chief secretary health Dr Pradeep Vyas has sent out a letter to the districts to increase testing and follow the WHO mandate of 140 tests per million or 980 tests per million each week. Districts such as Amravati carried out 833 tests out in a week, while Nandurbar was way behind at 409. A Nandurbar official said the administration had sent out teams to vaccinate people and check for any Covid symptoms in them.

16 districts in Maharashtra bank on RAT more than RT-PCR