Amid fear of possible third wave of coronavirus in the country between October and November, both central and state governments have started putting efforts to ramp up Covid-19 vaccination drive and augment the healthcare facilities, especially for children. Moreover, some states have also reintroduced night curfew, Sunday lockdown and other Covid restrictions to control any further surge in cases.
However, some states like Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra have already started reporting surge in Covid-19 cases. But the surge would not be considered as the third wave for now if it was not powerful enough to affect the direction of the national curve. The third wave would be registered by a likely increase in cases at the national level.
Even the Centre has also alerted the states stating that the months of September and October will be crucial in pandemic management and cautioned that festivals should be celebrated in accordance with Covid-19-appropriate behaviour.
“We are still in the midst of the second surge of Covid-19 in our country. The second surge has not yet concluded. It is not over and therefore, we have to maintain all necessary precautions, particularly in light of our experience that after every festival we see a spike. The coming months of September and October are crucial for us because we would be celebrating a few festivals. Thus festivals have to be celebrated with Covid-appropriate behaviour," he had said.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had reiterated that the country is still in the midst of the second wave.
Here’s how much daily Covid-19 cases are now being reported by some states which were the top contributors in the national level surge in the second wave in April-May:
After recording less than 30,000 cases since last Friday, Kerala on Wednesday reported 30,196 afresh, pushing the total infections in the state to 42,83,494. The southern state also reported 181 deaths, which took the total fatalities till now to 22,001, a government release said.
The Test Positivity Rate (TPR), which was witnessing a gradual decline and had dipped below 16 per cent, rose to 17.63 per cent on Wednesday after testing 1,71,295 samples in the last 24 hours. With this, 3,28,41,859 samples have been tested till now, the release said.
The bulletin also said that since Tuesday, 27,579 people recovered from the infection taking the total number to 40,21,456 and the number of active cases to 2,39,480. Among the 14 districts, Thrissur recorded the highest number of cases with 3,832 followed by Ernakulam (3,611), Kozhikode (3,058), Thiruvananthapuram (2,900), Kollam (2,717), Malappuram (2,580), Palakkad (2,288), Kottayam (2,214), Alappuzha (1,645), Kannur (1,433), Idukki (1,333) and Pathanamthitta (1,181), the release said.
Of the new cases, 130 were health workers, 190 from outside the state and 28,617 infected through contact, with the source of the contact not being clear in 1,259 cases, it said. There are currently 6,08,228 people under surveillance in various districts, of whom 5,75,411 are in home or institutional quarantine and 32,817 in hospitals.
Karnataka logged 1,102 new Covid-19 cases and 17 deaths on Wednesday, taking the total number of infections to 29,58,090 and the toll to 37,458. The day also saw 1,458 discharges, taking the total number of recoveries in the state so far to 29,03,547.
Out of the total number of cases, 338 were from Bengaluru Urban, as the city saw 277 discharges and five deaths, a health department bulletin said. Active cases in the state stood at 17,058.
While the positivity rate for the day stood at 0.64 per cent, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) was 1.54 per cent.
Among the districts where the new cases were reported, Bengaluru Urban accounted for 338, Dakshina Kannada 200, Udupi 133, Mysuru 64, followed by others. Bengaluru Urban district topped the list of positive cases, with a total of 12,40,310, followed by Mysuru 1,76,687 and Tumakuru 1,19,545.
Maharashtra reported 3,898 new coronavirus infections and 86 fatalities on Tuesday, taking the tally of infections in the state to 64,93,698 and death toll to 1,37,897, a health department official said. The number of daily cases and fatalities witnessed a slight uptick compared to Monday when the state had reported 3,626 new Covid-19 cases and 37 fatalities.
With 3,581 recovered patients discharged from hospitals, the total of recoveries climbed to 63,04,336.There are 3,06,524 people in home quarantine, 2,021 in institutional quarantine and 47,926 active patients.
Maharashtra’s case recovery rate stands at 97.08 per cent while the fatality rate is 2.12 per cent.
As Ganesh Chaturthi is around the corner, the Maharashtra government has said people would not be allowed to visit Ganesh pandals during the coming festival in view of the coronavirus pandemic. Only online ‘darshan’ or telecast from pandals would be allowed, said the state home department. Earlier, it had said in a circular that social distancing should be followed strictly inside the pandals during the Ganesh festival.
The new circular said that (people) are prohibited from visiting any Ganesh pandal." Organizers should instead provide the facility of online `darshan’ or telecast for the benefit of devotees, it said. The decision has been taken to discourage people from venturing out and exposing themselves to the viral infection, said an official.
Delhi recorded zero fatalities due to Covid-19 and 41 new cases with a positivity rate of 0.05 per cent, according to the health bulletin issued by the Delhi government on Wednesday. In a day 13 patients were discharged. The number of active cases has increased to 414 on Wednesday from 386 the previous day. Of these, 107 people are in home isolation.
The overall infection tally in the city has climbed to 14,38,082, of which over 14.12 lakh patients have recovered. The death toll was 25,083 while the case fatality rate stood at 1.74 per cent. According to the health bulletin, 75,079 tests were conducted a day ago to detect Covid-19. It included 51,328 were RTPCR, CBNAAT and TrueNat tests while the rest were rapid-antigen tests.
Meanwhile, the Arvind Kejriwal government has launched a new Covid-19 ‘WhatsApp Helpdesk Number’ which will help people in Delhi access credible information about the viral disease, locate nearest vaccination centres and book slots for receiving the jabs. Tele-consultation and information about oxygen cylinder refilling stations will also be available through the WhatsApp chatbot, according to a statement.
It will be a single-window source of accurate, authentic and up-to-date information about Covid-related resources in Delhi. To avail it, all that a user has to do is send ‘Hi’ to +911122307145 on WhatsApp, it said. “We have built the tech solution of a WhatsApp chatbot to fortify our preparedness in view of an anticipated third wave (of Covid). “We have added some new features to this chatbot to aid citizens conveniently access credible information and resources related to Covid-19 besides helping them locate their nearest vaccine centres," Health Minister Satyendar Jain said.