Friday, March 27, 2020

India records highest jump of Covid-19 deaths in a day


NEW DELHI :
Covid-19 claimed its first life in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday of a 60-year-old woman, raising the toll across India to 16 as six more died due to the coronavirus. This was the highest number of deaths the country has recorded so far in a single day.
The country recorded 70 fresh cases on Thursday, taking the total number to 703.
Kerala reported 19 fresh Covid-19 cases on Thursday, taking the total number of active cases in the state to 126, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, adding that more than 1.2 lakh people are under observation in the state.
The state now has the highest number of positive cases in India.
Maharashtra comes close second with 124 active cases reported so far with one new case each being reported in Mumbai and Thane.
Four fresh cases were recorded in Karnataka on Thursday, taking the tally in the state to 55.
Three more persons, including a couple, tested positive for Covid-19 in Telangana on Thursday.
The number of Covid-19 cases in the state stands at 44. The husband and wife, residents of Domalguda in Hyderabad, are doctors and came into contact with others infected with the virus. The third person, also a resident of Hyderabad, had travelled to Delhi. None of them have recent history of foreign travel.
In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, three new cases of the virus were detected, taking the state total to 11.
The government on Thursday, meanwhile, allowed retail sale of drugs at the doorstep of consumers during the 21-day lockdown. “Retail sale of drugs to the doorstep of consumers is essential to meet the requirements of emergency arising due to pandemic Covid-19 and in the public interest,” said a gazette notification by the ministry of health and family welfare.
However, the government said it is equally necessary to regulate the sale and distribution of drugs for their delivery to the consumers.
The centre said that government-approved retailers can sell such drugs, subject to the condition that any such sale of a drug specified in Schedule H shall be based on receipt of prescription physically or through email. The licensee will have to submit an email ID for registration with the licensing authority if prescriptions are to be received through email, it said. “The drugs shall be supplied at the doorstep of the patients located within the same revenue district where the licensee (chemist shop) is located,” the notification said.
The government also said that for chronic diseases, the prescription should be given to the chemist within 30 days of its issue, while in acute cases, the prescription submitted should be within seven days of its issue.
Policy think tank NITI Aayog has called upon doctors to work as volunteers for handling the outbreak. The government has realised that if the number of cases spikes, public health facilities will face tremendous pressure. “This overwhelming burden may not be met by the available doctors in the public health system. The central and state governments are augmenting and expediting increase in healthcare services in every part of the country,” NITI Aayog said.
Despite the massive number of cases being recorded, the government maintains that India continues to be in stage two of the spread, which is local transmission.
“It is too early to say that community transmission of the virus has started in India. A non-traveller to an infected country may also be infected if he comes in contact indirectly either touching surfaces touched by the infected person or through unknowingly close contact with an infected person,” said Rajni Kant, scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Nidheesh M.K., Kalpana Pathak, Yunus Lasania, and Sharan Povanna contributed to this story.
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