India's Covid count crosses 5 lakh, Centre says helping Delhi big time in tackling surge

Data by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday morning showed that the Covid-19 tally in India is now 5,08,953.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan  (File Photo | PTI)
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan (File Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: The country registered 18552 new Covid-19 cases on Friday taking the total confirmed infection cases in the country past half a million mark.

Data by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday morning showed that the Covid-19 tally in India is now 5,08,953. With 384 new deaths reported within 24 hours, the toll reached 15,684.

Maharashtra, which recorded 5,024 new cases in a day, now has 1,52,765 cases followed by Delhi which has 77,240 cases — 3,460 of which were reported in a 24-hour period.

As the situation in Delhi remains particularly worrisome, the Centre, meanwhile, listed out the help it has offered to the state government in tackling the Covid-19 crisis so far.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has supplied diagnostic material for carrying out 4.7 lakh RTPCR tests to the 12 functional labs in Delhi, till date said the health ministry adding that looking at the sudden surge of cases, 50,000 antigen-based rapid tests were also provided.

All the test kits have been given free of cost to Delhi, the ministry said.

National Centre for Disease Control, under the Centre has been supporting Delhi government through technical guidance on all aspects of Covid-19 surveillance and response strategy, it also said,

“The areas include identification and assessment of quarantine facilities and Covid care centres in the beginning of epidemic; orientation training and technical support on surveillance, contact tracing and lab aspects including infection prevention and control; data analysis and timely feedback on the gaps identified and suggested solutions,” said a ministry statement.

NCDC has also provided laboratory diagnostic support for the processing of samples by RTPCR including training of lab professionals of the state.

The ministry underlined that the NCDC is also conducting a serological survey across Delhi starting Saturday through which blood samples from 20,000 persons will be tested to ascertain the presence of antibodies against SARS CoV 2.

It added that a 10,000-bedded Sardar Patel Covid care centre is being developed at Radha Soami Satsang Beas in Chhatarpur, and the entire operation of this centre, including ensuring the availability of requisite numbers of medical personnel, has been entrusted to the Central Armed Police Forces, with Indo-Tibetan Border Police taking the lead.

Around 2,000 of these beds are being made operational in the first phase.

A 1000- bedded new greenfield hospital constructed by DRDO and manned by doctors and paramedical staff from the army would start functioning next week from an area near Dhaula Kuan.  This new hospital would have a referral relationship with AIIMS, New Delhi.  The hospital would be equipped with oxygen, ventilators as well as ICU, the government maintained.

The Centre has also advised the state government to conduct an assessment of every dead individual -due to the infection- to check how many days before the death the person was brought to the hospital and from where.

“A special focus has to be given about whether the person was in home isolation and whether the person was brought to the hospital at the right time or not. Every death has to be reported in a timely manner to the ministry,” the statement said.

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