India reports 83 COVID-19 deaths, 14,199 new cases of infection
File photo of swab samples being collected for Covid-19 testing in New Delhi.IANS

India reports 83 COVID-19 deaths, 14,199 new cases of infection

New Delhi, February 22, 2021

India today reported 83 more deaths due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and 14,199 new cases of infection as the spread of the disease continued to show a rising trend in some parts of the country.

In particular, there is some concern about Maharashtra, where as many as 6,979 new cases of infection and 35 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours.

Other states which are reporting high numbers or have seen a spike in cases in recent days include Kerala, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir and the Centre has written to them, advising them to work on five major areas to arrest the spread of the disease.

The States have been asked to improve the overall testing numbers by focusing on increasing the proportion of RT-PCR tests. All negative Rapid Antigen Test results should be mandatorily followed by RT-PCR test and no such negative persons are to be missed, an official press release said.

The States have been advised to refocus on strict and comprehensive surveillance as well as stringent containment in selected districts.

The release said there must be regular monitoring of the mutant strains through testing followed by Genome Sequencing, as well as monitoring of the emerging cluster of cases. There must also be a focus on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths, it said.

An official press release said Kerala and Maharashtra account for more than 74% of the active cases of the coronavirus disease in the country at present.

"Of late it is seen that there has been a spike in the daily cases in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh also. Punjab and J&K too are witnessing a surge in daily new cases," it said.

According to the release, in Kerala, in the last four weeks, the average weekly cases have fluctuated between a high of 42,000 to a low of 34,800. Similarly, in the last four weeks, the weekly positivity rate in Kerala has ranged from 13.9% to 8.9%. The district of Alappuzha is a cause of special concern where the weekly Positivity Rate has increased to 10.7% and weekly cases have increased to 2,833.

In Maharashtra, in the last four weeks, the weekly cases have shown a rising trend and have increased from 18,200 to 21,300; while the weekly positivity has also increased from 4.7% to 8%. The areas of concern are the Mumbai Suburban areas where the weekly cases have risen by 19%. In Nagpur, Amravati, Nashik, Akola and Yavatmal the weekly cases have increased by 33%, 47%, 23%, 55% and 48%, respectively.

According to the release, Punjab is rapidly assuming critical dimension in respect of the spread of COVID19 infection. In the State, in the last four weeks, the weekly positivity rate has increased from 1.4% to 1.6%, while the weekly cases in the last four weeks have seen a rise from 1,300 to 1,682. In one district of SBS Nagar alone, the weekly positivity rate has become 4.9% from 3.5% and the weekly cases have more than doubled from 165 to 364.

Five States and Union Territories (UTs) have weekly Positivity Rate more than the National Average. They are Maharashtra, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Chandigarh.

The national average is 1.79%. Maharashtra has the highest weekly positivity rate with 8.10%.

With the latest numbers put out by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare this morning, the death toll so far has risen to 156,385 while the total number of cases of infection in the country, since the first case was registered in late January last year, has crossed the 11-million mark to reach 11,005,850.

The number of deaths in a 24-hour period has remained below 200 for 33 consecutive days now. It has fallen below the 100-mark 13 times in the past 21 days.

The number of new cases of infection in a day remained below 20,000 for the 41st consecutive day today. It has fallen below 10,000 five times in the last 27 days.

The number of those who have recovered from COVID-19 rose to 10,699,410 as of this morning, up 9,695 from yesterday, making for a recovery rate of 97.21%.

The number of active cases rose for the fifth consecutive day today, going up by 4,421 to 150,055 in the last 24 hours.

The highest number of deaths due to COVID-19 in a single day in the country -- 1,290 -- was reported on September 16 last year. India had reported 90 deaths yesterday.

The highest number of fresh cases of infection in a 24-hour period -- 97,894 -- was reported on September 17. The country had recorded 14,264 new cases of infection yesterday.

The world has reported a total of more than 111.365 million cases of COVID-19 so far while the global death toll has climbed to 2,466,241 as of this morning, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, which is tracking the pandemic.

India is placed second in the world in terms of the total number of cases of infection so far, behind the United States (more than 28.133 million cases) and ahead of Brazil (more than 10.168 million cases).

In terms of the number of deaths, the country now ranks fourth after the US (498,883), Brazil (246,504) and Mexico (180,107).


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