India hits record high of over 1.8L Covid cases

NEW DELHI, APR 14 | Publish Date: 4/14/2021 12:20:24 PM IST

The number of new coronavirus cases in India hit a record daily high with 1,84,372 infections pushing the total tally of cases to 1,38,73,825, while the active cases surpassed the 13-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.

The death toll increased to 1,72,085 with 1,027 new fatalities, the highest since October 18, 2020 the data updated at 8 am showed.

Registering a steady increase for the 35th day in a row, the active cases have increased to 13,65,704, comprising 9.84 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has dropped to 88.92 per cent.

The active caseload was at its lowest at 1, 35,926 on February 12 and it was at its highest at 10,17,754 on September 18, 2020.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to1,23,36,036, while the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.24 per cent, the data stated.

India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past  60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on  October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.

According to the ICMR, 26,06,18,866 samples have been tested up to April 13 with 14,11,758 samples being tested on Tuesday. 

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

“Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.

Lockdown in pockets, if necessary, says H&FW
KOHIMA, APR 14 (NPN): Having witnessed its disastrous impact last year, Health & Family Welfare (H&FW) department is not keen on advocating another lockdown now in view of the second wave of COVID-19 and instead plans to impose it, if necessary, only in pockets where COVID positive cases are detected and as per Government of India’s containment plan.
Revealing this, an H&FW official informed Nagaland Post that the total lockdown imposed in 2020 had not been a good experience and hence the department would not vouch for it so that normal life was not disrupted in districts/places/areas that did not have positive cases.
However, irrespective of whether another lockdown was imposed or not, the official emphasised on the need to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour to stop the virus from spreading.
The official regretted that inappropriate COVID behaviours amongst citizens were leading to the second wave of COVID and stressed that the district task forces (DTFs) should effectively implement the orders issued by the government, cautioning that the State could not get complacent over the issue.
Regarding the order for random testing directed to the DTFs, the official said that none of the districts had implemented it, barring Dimapur.
He pointed out since DTFs were fully empowered, they should be bold enough to execute the SOPs and the directive issued by the government to ensure that prevention was well taken care of.
Further, he maintained that citizens must show some sense of responsibility and behave responsibly to avoid getting infected or infecting others as the impact of second wave could be worse, overwhelming State’s resources, if people were not careful enough. He reminded everyone that the only way to stay away from the virus was by following “preventive measures and nothing else”.  
He said community participation in strengthening DTFs was required since the government agencies alone could not wage the battle against the virus.
He informed this correspondent that SOPs for lower sections (below class 1) had not made, meaning they are not allowed to open.
Government assets have been kept reserved for quarantine centres, COVID care centres, etc, while the private-owned hotels had been released.
Suggest extension of Epidemic Act for another year 
Meanwhile, with the second wave of COVID pandemic affecting many parts of the country currently and rising COVID positive cases in the State, the H&FW department has suggested extension of the Nagaland Epidemic Disease (COVID 19) Regulation, 2020 for another year.
The State government had on March 18, 2020 enforced the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 for a period of one year. However, in view of the current situation, the department has suggested amendment to the Act.
Further, considering the uncontrolled spread of fake information on COVID creating havoc in the society, the department has proposed amendment in clause 13 of the Epidemic Diseases Act wherein any person/institution/organisation found circulating rumours or unauthenticated information relating COVID through any print or electronic media should be made liable for punishment as per provision of the Act.  
Testing: On the other hand, to increase the testing capacity in the State, the department has proposed amendment in clause 14 (a), (b), (c) and (d), wherein COVID-19 testing should be done only by test kits in health facilities approved by the government, while all guidelines regarding registration, testing and reporting should be strictly adhered to and all approved hospitals/laboratories should not charge beyond the government-approved rates for testing.
And in clause (d), it has been proposed that any contravention or non-compliance to the above mentioned sub-clauses should be made punishable as per provision of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897. 
The department has insisted that all inbound travellers to the State should follow the standing SOP upon arrival issued by the State government, which include registration, testing, quarantine and observance of COVID-19 appropriate behaviours.
The government is yet to take a call on the proposal submitted by the department.

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