INDORE: A large number of new COVID-19 cases are coming to the fore in Madhya Pradesh's worst-hit Indore despite the curfew being in place in urban areas of the district for more than a month now.
Though the steady rise in cases has raised questions over enforcement of preventive measures as well as the very nature of the viral spread, a government data also suggested a drop in the COVID-19 mortality rate in the district over the last 20 days.
With 94 new coronavirus positive cases in the last 24 hours, the number of COVID-19 patients in Indore district has mounted to 1,466, officials said on Wednesday.
Chunk of these cases have been reported from urban areas of the district, where the curfew was clamped on March 25 after detection of the first coronavirus positive case.
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"Two patients tested positive for coronavirus after their deaths, as per the reports received in the last 24 hours," officials said, adding that both the deceased had comorbidities.
While one of them, a 70-year-old man, was suffering from diabetes and died on April 17 in a private hospital, another man (45), battling kidney disease, succumbed on April 23.
Factoring in these two deaths, the number of COVID-19 fatalities in the district has risen to 65.
When asked about the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases amidst the curfew, Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) Praveen Jadia told PTI, "Most of the new positive cases of COVID-19 are relatives or acquaintances of old patients.
All such people were already isolated as a precaution.
"Most of the new patients of COVID-19 in Indore are found in same areas which have been sealed and declared as containment zones several days back," he said.
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However, sources associated with the state government's efforts to prevent the coronavirus spread in Indore acknowledged a delay in getting reports of samples from laboratories.
Local officials, however, said they were making every possible effort to speed up testing of samples.
"At present, more than 400 samples of COVID-19 are being tested every day in a government laboratory of the city. Some automated testing machines will become operational in this laboratory soon, which will boost its sample testing capacity from 650 to 800," said Indore Divisional Commissioner Aakash Tripathi.
Apart from government laboratories, samples are also being tested in some recognised private facilities to speed up testing.
Meanwhile, a major decline has been registered in the death rate of the COVID-19 patients in Indore district over the last 20 days.
As per government data, as on the morning of April 9, the death rate of COVID-19 patients in Indore district stood at 10.33 per cent.
However, analysis of the latest data, as on the morning of April 29, shows that the death rate has declined to 4.43 per cent.