Kerala says low COVID-19 mortality is ‘silver lining’ as daily cases cross 10k; India’s tally nears 70 lakh

Kerala says low COVID-19 mortality is 'silver lining' as daily cases cross 10k; India's tally nears 70 lakh

Doctors in West Bengl say people’s ‘careless attitude’ in wearing masks and following health safety norms in public places is leading to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in West Bengal

The number of active COVID-19 cases in India remained below 9 lakh for the second day in a row on Saturday, even as the total caseload rose to 69,79,423 with 73,272 new cases. Meanwhile, the toll rose to 1,07,416 with 926 new deaths in 24 hours, the Union health ministry said.

The recovery rate in the country climbed to 85.81 percent with a total of 59,88,822 COVID-19 patients having recovered so far.

The tally of COVID-19 cases includes 8,83,185 active cases, which make 12.65 percent of the total caseload, the ministry data showed. The COVID-19 case fatality rate was recorded at 1.54 percent.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), cumulative 8,57,98,698 samples have been tested up to 9 October. As many as 11,64,018 samples were tested on Friday.

Kerala govt says low death rate is ‘silver lining’ amid COVID-19 spike

Though Kerala is witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases recently, there is a “silver lining” as the mortality rate was only 0.36 percent, state health minister KK Shailaja said as she praised the “tireless” efforts of health workers.

She also appealed to people not to overwhelm the healthcare system “by their negligence”.

Lauding the services of the health workers, Shailaja said it was due to their tireless service that the state could keep the state’s death rate at 0.36 percent despite a high number of cases.

“In the end, all that matters is how we reduce the mortality rate. How many lives we could save. That’s our aim. Our mortality rate is still below 0.4 percent. The mortality rate of 0.36 is the best among the world,” Shailaja noted.

The southern state had reported the country’s first coronavirus case on 30 January, when a medical student who returned from Wuhan, which was the epicentre of the virus in China.

The second and third cases were also Wuhan returnees from the state and all the three had been successfully treated.

On 8 May, after reporting a solitary case and with just 16 people under treatment, Kerala had announced that it had flattened the COVID-19 curve. But as lockdown restrictions were lifted and people from abroad and other states started returning, positive cases started shooting up.

Five months later on 7 October, Kerala’s single-day spike in cases crossed 10,000, taking the total infection count to over 2.5 lakh. On Friday, 9,250 cases were reported as the infection tally crossed 2.66 lakh.

Experts had predicted that Kerala was likely to witness a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in August and September with daily infections expected to touch between 10,000 to 20,000.

Asked about the spike in cases, Shailaja said that many people had failed to heed the health directions issued during festivities, resulting in the spurt in cases.

“There is a capacity for any health care system. Our department is working selflessly and efficiently for the past eight to ten months so that the patient load will not exceed our system capacity,” she added.

Delhi govt to shift patients from Hindu Rao hospital amid doctors’ strike

The Delhi government on Saturday ordered the shifting of all COVID-19 patients from civic-run Hindu Rao Hospital to its own facilities, days after the resident doctors went on a “symbolic indefinite strike” over non-payment of due salaries for the last three months.

Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain, interacting with reporters, said, as of now 20 patients are at the Hindu Rao Hospital.

“Today, we have ordered to shift all COVID-19 patients from Hindu Rao Hospital to our own facilities. They have the choice to be shifted to LNJP Hospital or any other government hospital near their homes,” he said.

Hindu Rao Hospital is the largest municipal hospital in Delhi with 900 beds and is currently a dedicated COVID-19 facility. Many of its healthcare workers had contracted the infection earlier.

Hindu Rao Hospital falls under the jurisdiction of the BJP-led North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC).

“BJP is doing politics over the issue, they earn through several taxes, and if they can’t run their hospitals, then they (NDMC) should hand them over to the Delhi government,” Jain said.

Bengal doctors say ‘careless’ attitude contributing to COVID-19 surge in state

A “careless attitude” in wearing masks and following other health safety norms in public places is leading to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in West Bengal, doctors were quoting as saying by PTI.

The reopening of commercial activities, a step necessitated by the condition of the country’s economy after months of lockdown, is also contributing to the spike in coronavirus cases as people started gathering in markets and shopping malls and meeting in hotels and restaurants ahead of the festive season, they said.

“It is an alarming situation. It’s very unfortunate to see people are not following the health safety norms set by experts to fight against the pandemic. Only 30 percent of people are wearing masks in public places.

“One can see huge crowds in the markets. This is not acceptable. Careless attitude of people is the main reason behind the surge in coronavirus cases,” Beliaghata ID Hospital principal professor (Dr) Anima Haldar said.

Echoing Haldar, MR Bangur Hospital superintendent Dr Sisir Naskar said people have become careless in wearing masks and maintaining social distancing norms.

“The nosophobia about the infection, which was primarily there during the initial days of the pandemic, has eased. The coronavirus fatality ratio has come down, which also brings complacency among people. They are coming out of their homes without adequate precautionary measures,” Naskar said.

State-wise deaths

The 926 new fatalities reported in INon Saturday include 302 from Maharashtra, 114 from Karnataka, 68 from Tamil Nadu, 62 from West Bengal, 48 from Uttar Pradesh, 39 from Delhi, 38 from Chhattisgarh, 32 from Punjab, 31 from Andhra Pradesh.

The total 1,07,416 deaths reported so far in the country include 39,732 from Maharashtra, followed by 10,120 from Tamil Nadu, 9,789 from Karnataka, 6,293 from Uttar Pradesh, 6,159 from Andhra Pradesh, 5,692 from Delhi, 5,501 from West Bengal, 3,773 from Punjab and 3,547 from Gujarat.

With inputs from agencies

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