India records 1,61,736 cases; 879 deaths

NEW DELHI, APR 13 | Publish Date: 4/13/2021 12:52:47 PM IST

A total of 1,61,736 new coronavirus infections have been reported in a day pushing India’s tally of cases to 1,36,89,453, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate dropped further to 89.51 per cent, according to data updated by the Union Health Ministry on Monday.

The death toll increased to 1,71,058 with 879 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Registering a steady increase for the 34th day in a row, the number of active cases rose to 12,64,698, or 9.24 per cent of the total infections.

The active caseload was at its lowest at 1,35,926 on February 12, 2021 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 to 1,22,53,697, while the case fatality rate has dropped further to 1.25 per cent, the data stated. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 25,92,07,108 samples have been tested up to April 12, of which 14,00,122 were done on Monday.

Newer Covid symptoms you should know: It’s been more than a year since the deadly coronavirus wreaked havoc in the country, and even after several efforts to contain the spread of it, the second wave of the virus is currently spreading like wildfire in the nation.

While we all know the most common symptoms for COVID are dry cough, fever, loss of taste, and smell, but what most people are unaware of, is when to isolate or get tested because COVID-19 has a wide range of symptoms and medical complications.

Dr Shuchin Bajaj, Founder and Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals spoke about the new variant of COVID and said, “The new variant spreads easily and quicker than any other variant. All mutations or variants may not be transmissible or cause infection, and there is still no clarity on which strain causes which symptoms. Nowadays, we are seeing new covid strain, and some newer symptoms are found in patients like fever, pain in muscles, dry and persistent cough, and loss of smell and taste. In addition to conjunctivitis, sore throat, headache, rashes, upset stomach, and discolouration of fingers and toes.”

“The best advice is if you see any of these symptoms, it’s best to practice isolation from other members of the family. The next step would be to reach out to your doctor and get the requisite tests. In the current times, quick recognition of symptoms and alert action can save lives,” Dr Bajaj added.

“... In addition to the typical COVID symptoms such as fever, pain in muscles, dry and persistent cough, and loss of smell and taste, many this time are reporting additional symptoms like conjunctivitis, headache, diarrhea, and discolored fingers and toes,” said Dr Piyush Goel, Senior Consultant- Pulmonary and Critical Care, Columbia Asia Hospital, Palam Vihar, Gurugram.

There can be several reasons for this sudden spike such as lack of adherence to COVID protocol by people in general, a more transmissible mutation in the virus, to mention a few.

Second Covid-19 wave trend ‘worrying’: Centre
 Noting that India’s COVID-19 cases trajectory in the second wave is “worrying”, the Centre said states like Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat need to ramp up RT-PCR tests.
Addressing a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the Centre is continuously trying to help states and union territories in tackling the pandemic in a more effective manner. 
He said the previous highest surge has already been crossed and the “trend is going upward and that is a cause for worry”. “The tests per million are also growing but they are not keeping pace with the average daily cases. The share of RT-PCR tests is progressively coming down so that is something we repeatedly request the state to address,” he said.
Bhushan said the ideal proportion is 70 per cent RT-PCR tests and 30 per cent rapid antigen tests as both are important. Rapid antigen tests have their value as a screening test in areas which are densely populated and in those areas which are showing recent cluster of new cases.
Those who test negative in RAT have to be mandatorily subjected to RT-PCR tests, he said. 
“We have offered to the states that if they desire then they could make use of mobile testing laboratories. These technologies have been perfected through the country and they are being provided in a cost effective way...,” Bhushan said. Bhushan said apart from 10 affected states, the cases are also rising in other parts of the country. 

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