India's COVID-19 death toll rises to 543, total number of cases crosses 17,000
NDMC firefighters spraying disinfectants in a residential area during the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, in New Delhi on April 15, 2020. IANS

India's COVID-19 death toll rises to 543, total number of cases crosses 17,000

New Delhi, April 20, 2020

India's coronavirus (COVID-19) toll rose to 543 today with 24 more deaths while the total number of infected persons has gone up to 17,265 so far with 1,149 new cases reported from around the country since yesterday evening.

Figures released by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare this morning showed that the 24 new deaths included 12 in the worst-hit state of Maharashtra, five in Gujarat, three in Rajasthan and two each in Delhi and Karnataka.

Of the total of 543 deaths so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest number at 223, followed by 70 in Madhya Pradesh, 63 in Gujarat, 45 in Delhi, 18 in Telangana, 17 in Uttar Pradesh, 16 each in Punjab and Karnataka, 15 each in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, 14 in Rajasthan, 12 in West Bengal, 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 17,265 cases includes those who have died as well as 2,547 patients who have recovered, which meant that the number of active cases in the country stood at 14,175 as of this morning.

Of the total of 17,265 cases, Maharashtra accounted for the highest at 4,203, followed by 2,003 in Delhi, 1,743 in Gujarat, 1,478 in Rajasthan, 1,477 in Tamil Nadu, 1,407 in Madhya Pradesh, 1,084 in Uttar Pradesh, 844 in Telangana, 646 in Andhra Pradesh, 402 in Kerala, 390 in Karnataka, 350 in Jammu & Kashmir, 339 in West Bengal, 233 in Haryana, 219 in Punjab, 93 in Bihar, 68 in Odisha, 44 in Uttarakhand, 42 in Jharkhand, 39 in Himachal Pradesh, 36 in Chhattisgarh, 35 in Assam, 26 in Chandigarh, 18 in Ladakh, 15 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 today 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.


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