With a record 73,642 patients having recuperated in a day, India’s COVID-19 recoveries have surged to nearly 32 lakh, pushing the recovery rate to 77.32 percent while the case fatality rate, one of the lowest globally, has further dropped to 1.72 percent as on date, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday.
There are 8,62,320 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country accounting for only 20.96 percent of the total caseload, it highlighted.
“The spike in the daily recovered COVID-19 patients continues in the country. For the second successive day, India has clocked a record recovery of more than 70,000 patients in a single day,” the ministry said.
The rise in the recovery rate comes as metro rail services in Delhi and Bengaluru prepare to partially resume services from Monday.
The Delhi Metro will resume services in three stages from Monday, even as it appealed to people to use the rapid transport only if urgently needed. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd too will resume its services from Monday in a phased manner, after remaining suspended for almost 6 months in view of national lockdown imposed due to coronavirus pandemic.
The total coronavirus cases mounted to 41,13,811, while the death toll climbed to 70,626 with the novel coronavirus virus claiming 1,065 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country, the data updated at 8 am showed.
A record 90,632 people were infected by the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the Centre has asked all states and Union Territories to ensure necessary follow up of its updated advisory on COVID-19 testing strategy, allowing ‘testing on-demand’, to achieve a higher number of examination with greater flexibility and simplicity. The ‘Advisory on Strategy for COVID-19 Testing in India’ (version VI) lists the scope for testing in containment zones, non-containment areas, in hospitals, and also for the first time provides for testing on-demand with simplified modalities to be decided by the states and Union Territories. It also indicates the choice of testing in order of priority for each of the settings.
Five states, one UT asked to scale up testing
The Centre has asked 5 states and one UT from where 35 districts have been reporting high active COVID-19 caseload and fatality rate to strengthen containment measures and scale up testing to bring down positivity rate below five per cent.
These 35 districts comprise all 11 districts in Delhi, Kolkata, Howrah, North 24 Parganas and 24 South Parganas in West Bengal; Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Kolhapur, Sangli, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Raigad, Jalgaon, Solapur, Satara, Palghar, Aurangabad, Dhule and Nanded in Maharashtra; Surat in Gujarat; Pondicherry in Puducherry and East Singhbhum in Jharkhand.
In a review meeting held on Saturday, they were asked to ensure strict perimeter control, strengthen the active case search focusing on comorbids and elderly population, early identification by ramping up testing and optional utilization of RT-PCR testing capacity to break the chain of transmission of the disease, the Health ministry said on Sunday.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan held the review meeting through video conference (VC) with health secretaries of five states and one UT on the containment and management of COVID-19 in 35 districts under their jurisdiction.
The district collectors and other functionaries were advised to prepare and update district specific plans to continue their efforts to manage the pandemic.
The states were also advised to effectively monitor home isolation cases and early hospitalisation in case of disease progression, seamless hospitalisation and early admission for patients requiring medical support, especially in cases of comorbid and elderly population, besides following effective infection control measures in hospitals to safeguard healthcare workers from contracting the infection.
Metro services to resume in Delhi, Bengaluru
After being closed for over five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Delhi Metro is all set to resume services from Monday.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) authorities on Sunday reiterated that stations located in containment zones, as per the status on the day of journey, will remain closed.
Officials of the urban transporter had earlier cautioned that “trains may not stop at some of the stations” if social distancing norms are not adhered to by passengers.
The Delhi Metro services will be resumed in a staggered manner in three stages from 7-12 September, with the Yellow Line or Line 2 connecting Samyapur Bali in Delhi to HUDA City Centre in Gurgaon and the Rapid Metro to be the first ones to be made operational on 7 September.
Trains will operate in batches of four-hour each from 7-11 am in the morning and 4-8 pm in the evening in the first stage, officials said.
The Bangalore Metro will also resume its services from Monday in a phased manner.
The first run will start on the Purple Line from Monday while the trains on Green Line will operate from 9 September. In the Purple Line, the trains will run for six hours till 10 September only during the peak hours — three hours in the morning from 8 am to 11 am and 4.30 pm to 7.30 pm. In the Green Line, the trains will operate for two days only during peak hours — three hours in the morning and three in the evening.
From 11 September onwards, the trains will ply on both the lines from 7 am to 9 pm. “The number of commuters allowed in each train is limited to 400 passengers to ensure social distancing norms,” a BMRCL official said. According to BMRCL, the dwell time in each station will be 60 seconds so that passengers shall maintain social distancing while boarding and deboarding. At the Kempe Gowda interchange station, the dwell time will be 75 seconds.
Of the 1,065 fresh deaths, 312 are from Maharashtra, 128 from Karnataka, 81 from Uttar Pradesh, 71 from Andhra Pradesh, 69 from Punjab, 61 from Tamil Nadu, 58 from West Bengal, 34 from Bihar, 30 from Madhya Pradesh, 25 from Delhi, 22 from Haryana, 19 from Chhattisgarh, 18 each from Puducherry and Uttarakhand, 15 each from Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand.
Fourteen fatalities have been reported from Rajasthan, 11 from Kerala, nine each from Goa and Telangana, eight from Tripura, seven each from Assam and Odisha, four from Himachal Pradesh while Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Manipur and Meghalaya have registered one fatality each.
Of the total 70,626 deaths, Maharashtra has reported the maximum at 26,276 followed by 7,748 in Tamil Nadu, 6,298 in Karnataka, 4,538 in Delhi, 4,347 in Andhra Pradesh, 3,843 in Uttar Pradesh, 3,510 in West Bengal, 3,091 in Gujarat and 1,808 in Punjab.
So far, 1,543 people have died of COVID-19 in Madhya Pradesh, 1,122 in Rajasthan, 886 in Telangana, 781 in Haryana, 770 in Jammu and Kashmir, 735 in Bihar, 538 in Odisha, 462 in Jharkhand, 356 in Chhattisgarh, 352 in Assam, 337 in Kerala and 330 in Uttarakhand.
Puducherry has registered 298 fatalities, Goa 229, Tripura 144, Chandigarh 69, Himachal Pradesh 54, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 50, Manipur 36, Ladakh 35, Meghalaya 15, Nagaland 10, Arunachal Pradesh eight, Sikkim five and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu two.
Kerala finance minister tests positive
Kerala Finance Minister Dr Thomas Isaac tested COVID-19 positive on Sunday. Isaac was tested positive in an antigen test done on Sunday evening.
He is the first minister in the cabinet to test positive for the virus. His office staff also underwent antigen test and are found to be COVID negative.
Those who came in direct contact with the minister were asked to go in quarantine. His office will be disinfected on Monday.
With inputs from agencies