vijayawada l tuesday l april 27, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Wear masks even at home, govt says amid covid surge It is high time people followed Covid-appropriate behaviour inside their homes as well, says NITI Aayog member (health) Dr V K Paul Don’t step outside, don’t invite guests The statement came days after a new assessment published in The Lancet said there is consistent, strong evidence to prove that the SARSCoV-2 virus, which is behind the Covid-19 pandemic, is predominantly transmitted through the air. Paul added that people should avoid stepping out of their houses unnecessarily and also not invite guests at home | P7 ■ $190 No mask means 90% risk of infection ■ “The way the infection has spread, it will be better if we wear mask inside our homes if we’re sitting with someone,” Dr Paul said “If the mask is not worn properly, there is 90% chance an infected patient can transfer virus to an uninfected person,” said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Thailand p.m. Prayuth Chan-ocha fined FOR NOT WEARING MASK IN A MEETING CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Health hub grapples with shortage of hospital beds Srikakulam town declared red zone Srikakulam: The district administration on Monday declared Srikakulam town a containment zone. With more than 30 per cent positivity rate of the samples tested, the town was declared a containment zone for 14 days. On Monday, Srikakulam recorded 906 new Covid cases and three fatalities. Shops, business establishments and markets will be closed by 2 pm as part of the curbs imposed to combat Covid spread G J a n a r d h a n a R a o @Visakhapatnam The City of Destiny which is consid, ered a health hub by not only people of North Coastal Andhra but also neighbouring States of Odisha and Chhattisgarh due to presence of a quite a number of multispeciality hospitals both in private and government sectors, has been witnessing a virtual chaotic situation for the past one week with Covid-19 patients gasping for a bed with ventilator support. The spurt in Covid cases, which started in the first week of April, reached a peak last week as the daily count hovered between 800 and 1,050. This sudden spike in Covid cases has put additional stress on availability of hospital beds. The CSR block in KGH, which has 500 beds, is almost full with 440 patients and same is the case with VIMS where there is a wait list for admission to hospital. As the government hospitals were full, people had to run to private hospitals. The situation during the first wave Full lockdown imposed in K’taka, partial in Kerala E x p r ess n e w s se r v i c e @ Bengaluru/Kochi/Chandigarh A Covid-positive patient on oxygen support waiting for admission in a car outside the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in Delhi on Monday | Parveen Negi Bengal has highest case spike rate now Infections up by 9.5% in state, highest test positivity rate in Kokata; 1,800% jump in U’khand active cases E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi At 9.5%, poll-bound West Bengal has the highest Covid-19 case growth in the country now, data shared by the Union health ministry showed. It was followed by Karnataka, which has a near explosive growth rate of 9%, while Delhi, reeling under a huge medical oxygen crisis, has the second lowest growth rate at 1.5% after Maharashtra (0.5 %), among the surge states. And at about 50%, Bengal’s capital Kolkata now has the highest test positivity rate. The stark West Bengal data showed a mirror to the Election Commission of India that till recently chose to ignore all violations of Covid-appropriate behaviour in the run up to the eight-phase elections in the state. Despite massive mask-less political rallies that created an uproar, the poll panel tried to wish them away till last week when it got a stinker from the Calcutta High Court and was forced to act. Another worrying figure was the 1,800% spike in active cases in Uttarakhand between March 31 and April 24, which coincided with the Haridwar Maha Kumbh, indicating the mela was a possible super spreader event in the state. Prior to the Maha Kumbh, the total active cases stood at 1,863 (March 31), but they quickly ballooned to 33,330 by April 24. India, now the worst-hit in the pandemic globally, has been reporting nearly 1,500 or more daily deaths since April 20. On Sunday, the highest 2,812 fatalities were recorded. There are also concerns that the fatality count is being majorly undercounted in most cities and towns. In a health ministry press briefing on Monday, several government authorities, including V K Paul, member, Niti Aayog and Randeep Guleria, director, AIIMS Delhi urged patients to follow home isolation protocols unless hospitalisation is absolutely reP7 quired. With Covid-19 cases spiralling gout of control, the Karnataka government on Monday announced a 14-day curfew across the state, while Kerala decided to enforce restrictions far more strictly starting Tuesday . Briefing reporters, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said all commercial activities will remain prohibited, but manufacturing units (except garments factories), agricultural production, medical supplies production and construction activities will be allowed. “No public transport will be allowed, but movement of cargo and goods vehicles will not be hindered. Shops selling croceries, milk, meat and other essentials will be allowed to open between 6 am and 10 am every day. Night curfew, which is already in place between 9 am and 6 am, will continue. If cases do not come under control, then we may have to extend these restrictions for another week,” Yediyurappa said. In Kerala, an all-party meeting on Monday decided against total lockdown, but gave the nod to enforce restrictions far more strictly As part . of the move, malls, bars, liquor outlets, cinema halls, clubs, sports complexes, swimming pools, gymnasiums and entertainment parks will be closed from Tuesday until further orders. All social, political, cultural and religious functions/ gatherings are also prohibited until further orders. The number of attendees at weddings (two-hour duration) and funerals has been limited to 50 and 20, respectively Weddings should be . registered on the Covid 19 Jagratha Portal, the government said. Snag disrupts o2 supply to Our IPL Space patients in Maharaja hosp Invisible helping hands Several people across India have used Twitter as a platform to launch one of the biggest SOS campaigns to help people to survive Covid crisis A novel initiative Fr John Puthuva, the vicar of a church in Kalady near Kochi, has been visiting patients to offer them comfort. He also launched #VaccineChallenge drive | P11 E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Vizianagaram Around 15 Covid-19 patients on ventilator support in the government-run Maharaja Central Hospital had to be shifted to other hospitals in the district in the early hours of Monday following disruption in supply of oxygen due to some technical glitch. Two patients reportedly died due to disruption in oxygen supply between 3 and 3.30 am. However, officials denied it stating that the deaths were ‘not due to disrup- tion in oxygen supply .’ District Collector M Hari Jawaharlal said a technical glitch caused low pressure in supply of oxygen to those who were on ventilator support. “We immediately rushed to the hospital and ensured that there was no problem to the patients on oxygen support,’’ he said. The Collector said alternative arrangements were made by bringing bulk oxygen cylinders and an oxygen tanker from Visakhapatnam to P4 the district hospital. covid scare Woman’s body shifted on bike in S’kulam E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Srikakulam A man was forced to shift his mother’s body on a bike with the help of a family member to their hamlet, which is 18 km away from Palasa, on Monday due to reluctance of ambulance and auto drivers to shift it amid spurt in Covid-19 cases in the district. G Chenchu (50) of Killoyi tribal hamlet in Mandasa fell ill. Her son Narendra and son-in-law Ramesh took her to Neelamani Durga Hospi- The body of a woman being shifted on a bike in Srikakulam district on Monday | Express tal in Palasa, where she was referred to a diagnostic centre for a CT scan. She underwent a scan at Sri Krishna Diagnostic Centre. She breathed her last even as the scan report was awaited. Later, Dr Mohan Babu, going by the scan report, said she had symptoms of Covid. When no one came forward, the duo shifted the body to their hamlet on a bike. VRO Tulasi Das said the last rites of the woman were performed in the evening as per Covid-19 protocol. of Covid was not like the second one as 90 per cent of the affected persons then did not require oxygen support. Hence, there was not much stress on oxygen and ventilator beds. During the second wave, there has been a sudden jump in the number of patients requiring oxygen support and this has put an additional stress on these beds leading to the present chaotic situation. There are over 3,000 oxygen beds and 500 beds with ventilator support in the city hospitals, P5 sources said. NATIONWIDE April 25 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Take your shot 3,49,691 2,17,113 2,767 April 26 3,52,991 2,19,272 2,812 April 25 25,36,612 doses April 26 31,74,688 doses Total: 14,50,85,911 doses Modi thanks Biden New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked US President Joe Biden during a phone talk on Monday evening for extending support to India to combat Covid Summer vacation for SSC students from May 1 to 31 Vijayawada: Amid mounting pressure from parents as well as opposition parties to defer the conduct of SSC and Intermediate exams, the State government on Monday announced summer vacation for SSC students from May 1 to 31. However, SSC and Intermediate exams will be held as per schedule. Education Minister A Suresh said the summer vacation for SSC students was announced as their syllabus was completed and in view of spurt in Covid cases. Teachers need to come to schools from June 1 to make preparations for SSC exams scheduled from June 7, he said Family members of Covid-19 patients wait outside KGH in Vizag on Monday | G Satyanarayana More restrictions in place to combat Covid-19 spread E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Vijayawada In the wake of spurt in Covid-19 cases, the State government has imposed stringent restrictions to curb the spread of virus. Speaking to mediapersons on Monday, Principal Secretary (Health) Anil Kumar Singhal said, “We have decided to close sports complexes, gyms and spas till further orders. The existing alternate seating in public transport vehicles, including RTC buses and cinema halls, will continue and they will be allowed to operate with only 50% capacity .” All the managements of government and private offices have been asked to ensure 5 feet distance between two seats of employees. Attendance at weddings and other social functions is limited to just 50 and that too with Covid Appropriate Behaviour. District Collectors have been directed to implement the restrictions strictly he said. , According to Singhal, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy took serious note of reports that some private hospitals are fleecing patients by charging exorbitant rates. At a review meet on Covid, the Chief Minister directed officials to implement a three-tier structure for effective Covid management in the State. “At the district-level, the collectors divide all private hospitals permitted to treat Covid-19 cases into clusters and appoint a district-level officer as in-charge for each cluster. They will inspect these hospitals frequently re, ceive complaints from patients, look into their grievances and take appropriate action against the managements. Each cluster will have 5-8 private hospitals. Complaints pertaining to unauthorised treatment of Covid cases in nearby hospitals will also be P5 probed, he said. STATEWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Samples tested April 25 April 26 12,634 4,304 69 9,881 4,431 51 62,885 74,041 hospital infrastructure Dial 104 for info on Covid services 1902 to lodge complaints Total beds in 371 hospitals - 31,997 Available beds - 18,001 (at 10 pm) Available ventilators - 2,792 Remdesivir stock in State - 32,810
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