Coronavirus India Updates: Total Tally Tops 5 Lakh, With Over 18,500 Fresh Infections
Over 5 lakh people have been infected by the deadly Covid-19 virus in India, as new cases poured in from across the country taking the figure to a new high.
The country added over 18,500 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, taking the total tally to 5,08,953, according to Health Ministry’s 8 a.m update. However, nearly 3 lakh of these cases have been declared as “cured/discharged”.
- Total number of confirmed cases: 5,08,953
- Active cases: 1,97,387
- Cured/discharged/migrated: 2,95,881
- Deaths: 15,685
Authorities reported 18,552 new cases, 384 deaths and 10,244 recoveries in the 24 hours preceding the update.
U.S. Sun Belt states are wrestling with mounting coronavirus cases, with Texas shutting its bars and Florida imposing limits on drinking at bars. Arizona reported a fresh surge in infections.
The European Union is close to an agreement on a policy to bar Americans from traveling to the bloc amid a spike in cases. Thailand aims to produce its own vaccine and may start human trials soon.
Globally, cases topped 9.7 million, with over 493,000 dead, as of morning.
Track news and developments around the Covid-19 outbreak in India here.
Can’t Expect The Poor To Give Proof For Free Treatment: Bombay High Court
The Bombay High Court observed that Covid-19 patients from poor and indigent sections cannot be expected to produce documentary proof to avail subsidised or free treatment while getting admitted to hospitals.
The court on Friday was hearing a plea filed by seven residents of a slum rehabilitation building in Bandra, who had been charged Rs 12.5 lakh by KJ Somaiya Hospital for Covid-19 treatment between April 11 and April 28.
The bench of Justices Ramesh Dhanuka and Madhav Jamdar directed the hospital to deposit Rs 10 lakh in the court.
The petitioners had borrowed money and managed to pay Rs 10 lakh out of Rs 12.5 lakh that the hospital had demanded, after it threatened to halt their discharge if they failed to clear the bill, counsel Vivek Shukla informed the court. Read More
Delhi's Efforts To Contain The Virus Spread
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal assured citizens that the number of beds in the national capital has increased significantly over the past week.
"The number of beds has increased significantly. There are 13,500 beds present in Delhi now, of which 6500 are occupied. Also, 20,000 tests are being conducted daily. I thank Centre for providing us the needed testing kits,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.
Earlier, the Centre had said that it has provided 1.57 lakh RNA extraction kits essential for carrying out tests and 2.84 lakh Viral Transport Mediums and swabs for collection of samples. The Indian Council of Medical Research has supplied diagnostic material for carrying out 4.7 lakh RT-PCR tests to the 12 functional labs in Delhi, till date, the statement said.
In addition, ICMR has approved Antigen-based Rapid tests and supplied 50,000 such Antigen Rapid Test Kits free of cost to Delhi government for supporting Covid-19 containment efforts, the Centre said.
Meanwhile, Delhi government has bought 4,000 oxygen concentrators for Covid- 19 patients, Kejriwal said.
Pandemic Triggering Panic Attacks, Depression And Suicides, Say Experts
As the Covid-19 wave sweeps across the country, mental health experts say the pandemic has triggered panic attacks among those who tested positive for the virus, causing bouts of depression and even driving some to the brink of suicide.
According to experts, nervousness, fear of contamination, panic attacks, constant reassurance seeking behaviour, sleep disturbance, excessive worry, feelings of helplessness and probability of an economic slowdown are the major factors leading to depression and anxiety among the people.
Potential job losses, financial burden, uncertainty about the future and fears of running out of food and necessities add to the worries.
Online platforms too have seen a growing number of people seeking help for mental health issues, ranging from anxiety and loneliness to concerns over productivity and job loss since the outbreak of Covid-19.
Towards April-end about 3,632 calls were received and psychiatric counselling was provided to 2,603 callers, Dr R Purna Chandrika, director of Institute of Mental Health, Chennai, said.
"We have dedicated services at our centres in the districts and the calls meant for government medical college hospitals are routed to the respective institutions," she said.
Due to heavy virus caseloads, making this city the major contributor to the state's tally, the Greater Chennai Corporation too started a free helpline to help residents cope up with stress during the pandemic.
"From the psychological perspective, we don't find a single human being who is not feeling some degree of stress or anxiety due to coronavirus. The intensity and impact varies from person to person," said Lt Col NT Rajan, director of Chennai-based Mastermind Foundation. The organisation is involved in free counselling throughout India ever since the first case of the deadly virus was reported in the country.
"Further worsening of depression may lead to severe mental health issues and suicidal tendencies," said Dr S Senthil Kumar, a psychiatrist. However, not all of them require medicines, he added.
"The situation is serious. There should be counselling at three stages--on coping with the virus, how to face it if tested positive and how to face life once treated and discharged from the hospital," Rajan said.
Awareness was of paramount importance, he said and warned the pandemic could cause panic attacks while in hospital or drive them to the brink of suicide.
Tamil Nadu, one of the worst affected states with a virus count in excess of 74,000 as of Friday, has witnessed a few instances of suicides allegedly related to Covid-19.
Madhya Pradesh Forms Commission To Create Jobs For Returnee Migrant Workers
The Madhya Pradesh government has formed a commission to create employment opportunities for the migrant labourers who have returned to the state from different parts of the country during the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown.
In a statement, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that the Madhya Pradesh State Migrant Labourer Commission has been set up for the welfare of migrant workers.
"The commission has been formed to create employment opportunities for the migrant labourers and for their welfare. It would provide livelihood and create infrastructure for the workers so that they can be retained in Madhya Pradesh," the statement issued on Friday night said.
The commission will recommend measures for the welfare of migrant labourers, and ways to strengthen their socio-economic condition, the statement added. The commision will take advice from both its members and external persons and organisations.
The state government is yet to nominate the chairman of the commission.
Buildings In North Mumbai Slums To Be Sealed
Buildings in congested areas and slums of north Mumbai will be sealed considering the rise in Covid-19 cases in the last 15 days, Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh said.
North Mumbai, which includes Dahisar, Borivali, Malad, Charkop and Kandivali areas, has seen a sharp rise in cases in the last 15 days.
During a visit to north Mumbai on Friday, the city top cop attributed the spread of coronavirus infection to the high population density there. Singh took stock of the Covid-19 count and precautionary measures taken by the police and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to contain the viral spread.
Several cases have been reported from buildings located in slums and other high-density places, he said, adding that the police were sealing such structures and the results of these measures will be seen in the next few days.
Mumbai currently has 750 containment zones, of which 300 are located in north Mumbai alone, Singh said. Apart from this, the police have identified 27 hotspots and a strict lockdown has been enforced in these areas, he said.
According to BMC's data, Mumbai has recorded 72,287 Covid-19 cases so far, while the death toll stood at 4,177.