Health workers wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits conducting thermal screening of people for COVID-19 during the extended nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus; at Howrah near Kolkata on April 18, 2020.
Health workers wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits conducting thermal screening of people for COVID-19 during the extended nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus; at Howrah near Kolkata on April 18, 2020. |Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS

India's COVID-19 death toll rises to 519, total number of cases crosses 16,000-mark

By Sonny Abraham/NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, April 19, 2020

India's coronavirus (COVID-19) toll rose to 519 today with 31 more deaths while the total number of infected persons has gone up to 16,116 so far with 1,324 new cases reported from around the country in the last 24 hours.

Figures released by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare this evening showed that the 31 new deaths included 10 each in Gujarat and Maharashtra, three each in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, two in West Bengal and one each in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

Of the total of 519 deaths so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest number at 211, followed by 70 in Madhya Pradesh, 58 in Gujarat, 43 in Delhi, 18 in Telangana, 17 in Uttar Pradesh, 16 in Punjab, 15 each in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, 14 in Karnataka, 12 in West Bengal, 11 in Rajasthan, five in Jammu & Kashmir, three each in Haryana and Kerala, two each in Bihar and Jharkhand, and one each in Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Odisha.

The total of 16,116 cases includes those who have died as well as 2,302 patients who have recovered, which meant that the number of active cases in the country stood at 13,295 as of this evening.

Of the total of 16,116 cases, Maharashtra accounted for the highest at 3,651, followed by 1,893 in Delhi, 1,604 in Gujarat, 1,407 in Madhya Pradesh, 1,372 in Tamil Nadu, 1,351 in Rajasthan, 1,084 in Uttar Pradesh, 844 in Telangana, 603 in Andhra Pradesh, 400 in Kerala, 384 in Karnataka, 341 in Jammu & Kashmir, 310 in West Bengal, 233 in Haryana, 219 in Punjab, 86 in Bihar, 61 in Odisha, 42 in Uttarakhand, 39 in Himachal Pradesh, 36 in Chhattisgarh, 35 each in Assam and Jharkhand, 23 in Chandigarh, 18 in Ladakh, 14 in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, 11 in Meghalaya, seven each in Goa and Puducherry, two each in Manipur and Tripura and one each in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.

The total number of cases includes 77 foreigners, the Ministry said.

As announced earlier, lockdown restrictions will be eased from tomorrow in non-containment areas. Containment areas in hotspot districts will not be given any relaxation, the Ministry said.

States and Union Territories may impose further additional measures according to local requirements.

Hotspots are areas with large COVID-19 outbreaks or clusters with a significant spread, where more cases have been reported or where the doubling rate of cases is less than 4 days. Within hotspots, local administration demarcates containment zones and buffer zones to control disease spread.

Within containment zones, activities shall not be permitted within a strict perimeter control except for essential services. For places where selective relaxations are granted, States / UTs / District administrators must ensure that strict compliance of existing lockdown measures is done and preparatory actions as per SOPs related to social distancing are being followed in offices, workplaces, factories and establishments, the Ministry said.

As this is a rolling criteria if cases come to some places, then these places can also become part of the red zone and containment zone. For the containment zones, they should strictly implement lockdown measures so they can gradually return to normalcy. Relaxation areas also have to follow and adhere to all SOPs of social distancing to ensure that all preparatory actions are being undertaken, it said.

The Ministry said, cumulatively, 2144 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals have been identified at both Centre and State levels, which include 755 dedicated COVID hospitals and 1389 Dedicated COVID Health Centres (DCHC).

Two districts -- Mahe (Puducherry) and Kodaggu (Karnataka) -- have not reported fresh cases during the last 28 days. There are now 54 districts in from 23 States and UTs that have not reported fresh cases during the last 14 days. Apart from the previous list, 10 new districts have been added. These are: Gaya and Saran (Bihar); Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh); Fatehgarh Sahib and Rupnagar (Punjab); Bhiwani, Hisar, Fatehabad (Haryana); Cachar and Lakhimpur (Assam).

As of now, the mortality rate for COVID-19 India is 3.3%. Further analysis of the data indicates that out of the deceased, 14.4% of people are 0-45 years age group, 10.3% 45 -60 years age group, 33.1% 60-75 years age group and 42.2% are from 75 years and above age group

The data shows that 75.3% of the cases belong to above 60 yrs age category. Also it is seen that 83% of cases had co-morbidities. This brings to fore the earlier highlighted facts that elderly people and people with co-morbidities are at higher risk, the Ministry said.