Record jump in cases, Centre tells UP to ramp up testing in Noida, Ghaziabad

Record jump in cases, Centre tells UP to ramp up testing in Noida, Ghaziabad
An isolation coach being readied by the railways at Charbagh station in Lucknow. Railways has said that over 200 such isolation coaches will be readied in Lucknow. (Photo by Vishal Srivastav)

WITH ONE of the highest single-day jumps of Covid cases – 817 – the cumulative count of people testing positive for coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh reached 24,825 on Thursday. An additional 17 deaths were also recorded in the past 24 hours, taking the toll to 735.

The state now has 6,869 active Covid cases.

According to the state health department bulletin, a total of 17,221 patients have been discharged from hospitals, bringing the recovery rate to 69.36 per cent as against the national average of 59.43 per cent.

Among the fresh cases, the two NCR districts Ghaziabad abd Noida reported highest — 129 and 116, respectively — followed by 49 in Varanasi and 43 in Bareilly. The remaining new cases include 33 from Lucknow, 29 from Mathura, 26 each from Kanpur and Aligarh, 23 in Ghazipur, 22 in Meerut and 20 in Gorakhpur.

Ghaziabad and Noida are now the only two districts with more than 900 cases of active infection.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday held a meeting over video conference with chief ministers of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to coordinate Covid efforts in the Delhi-NCR region. Shah asked the states to focus on more testing by adopting rapid antigen tests, ensure early hospitalisation to bring down mortality and to promote use of Aarogya Setu and Itihas apps. He also asked UP and Haryana to make use of AIIMS, Delhi, telemedicine facility for patient consultation.

“Adoption of more testing via rapid antigen test kits will help in reducing infection transmission rate below 10%, as suggested by World Health Organisation. Nearly 90% of screening is possible through these kits. These can be provided by Government of India to UP and Haryana in numbers desired by them,” said Shah at the meeting. In the previous meeting on June 18, Shah had asked for a common strategy for Delhi-NCR.

Among the fresh deaths in UP, three were reported in Varanasi, two in Jhansi, and one each in Etah, Baghpat, Bareilly, Amroha, Sambhal, Ghazipur, Bulandshahr, Moradabad, Firozabad, Ghaziabad, Kanpur Nagar and Agra.

Principal Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said that at least 6,874 people, including Covid positive patients and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) patients, are in isolation wards. “An additional 4,495 persons who are suspected cases of Covid-19 are in institutional quarantine,” he said.

Increasing the testing capacity in the state, at least 24,890 samples were tested Wednesday.

“People do not need to be worried of the infection. Every single government hospital in the state, be that district hospitals, PHCs or the CHCs, there are Covid helpdesks with availability of pulse oximetre, infrared thermometer and sanitisers. If someone tests positive, the whole treatment process is free of cost. We have found that if someone is tested soon after developing symptoms and get timely treatment then within 10-12 days, the person recovers. If the person decides to hide or ignore the symptoms, there might be complications,” said Prasad.

According to a statement issued by the health department, at least 2,553 symptomatic patients have been identified by more than 6,500 help desks established across the state so far.

With ENS, Delhi

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