Possible third wave of Covid-19, Soni orders 40,000 daily testing in Punjab

Possible


DW BUREAU / chandigarh Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr Om Prakash Soni on Tuesday ordered 40,000 daily Covid testing in the state following the reports of a spurt of a new Covid-19 variant in some parts of the world and a possible third wave of Coronavirus in the state. Soni held a high-level review meeting with senior health officials including Mr. Vikas Garg, Principal Secretary, Medical Education & Research; Mr. Kumar Rahul, Managing Director NHM; Mr. Bhupinder Singh MD Punjab Health System Corporation; Dr. Andesh Kang Director Health and Family Welfare; OP Gojra, Director Health Services along with Civil Surgeons and senior medical officers across the state to sensitise the people of Punjab to make them aware of the imminent danger of new form of Covid-19 Omicron. He directed the officers of the department to start preparations at the war-footing level at once to tackle any possible emergency. According to World Health Organization (WHO) the RT-PCR tests are capable of identifying new viruses, therefore, maximum Covid tests should be conducted across the state. Soni directed that separate wards should be set up for the admission of suspected patients suffering from the new variant. He also directed the officials of the health department to make concrete arrangements regarding the arrival of travellers to Punjab from South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel. On the occasion, Vikas Garg, Secretary of the department said that officials have already been directed to procure the necessary medicines and equipment and supply would be received by the department in the coming few days. India logged 6,990 new coronavirus infections, the lowest in 551 days, taking the country's total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,45,87,822, while the active cases have declined to 1,00,543, the lowest in 546 days, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Tuesday. The death toll climbed to 4,68,980 with 190 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am. The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 20,000 for 53 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 155 consecutive days now. The active cases comprise 0.29 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 98.35 per cent, the highest since March 2020, the health ministry said. A decrease of 3,316 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.69 per cent. It has been less than 2 per cent for last 57 days. The weekly positivity rate was also recorded at 0.84 per cent. It has been below 1 per cent for the last 16 days, according to the health ministry. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has surged to 3,40,18,299, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.36 per cent. The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 123.25 crore. India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 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. India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23. The 190 new fatalities include 117 from Kerala and 21 from Maharashtra. Of the 117 deaths, 59 were reported over the last few days and 58 were designated as COVID-19 deaths after receiving appeals based on the new guidelines of the Centre and the directions of the Supreme Court, a Kerala state government release said on Monday. A total of 4,68,980 deaths have been reported so far in the country, including 1,40,962 from Maharashtra, 39,955 from Kerala, 38,203 from Karnataka, 36,472 from Tamil Nadu, 25,098 from Delhi, 22,910 from Uttar Pradesh and 19,473 from West Bengal. 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 the state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation. (editor@dailyworld.in)




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