India’s COVID-19 death toll crosses 10,000
NEWDELHI, 16th Jun: India's COVID-19 death toll crossed 10,000 on Tuesday as the Centre scaled up the daily testing capacity to three lakh samples.
The country registered over 10,000 new COVID-19 cases for the fifth day in a row pushing the number of infections to 3,43,091 while the death toll rose to 9,900 with 380 new fatalities, according to the Union Health ministry data. The country is in the eighth position in the global COVID-19 death tally which totalled 437,283.
According to a PTI tally at 9.30 pm based on reports from states, there were 10,057 deaths with Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi accounting for 70 per cent of the fatalities.
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, said the COVID-19 situation in the country is worsening each passing day and not improving.
“You see...the COVID-19 situation is not getting any better with each passing day. It is only getting worse in the country," a three-judge bench headed by Justice R F Nariman said while hearing a plea for extending the parole of a Punjab-based businessman accused in a drug racket case.
On Friday, the apex court said the COVID-19 situation was grim in Delhi and four other states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Gujarat.
The Union Health ministry said the capacity for testing COVID-19 is being continuously ramped up and now three lakh samples can be tested each day, as scientists and medical experts pushed for ramping up tests to also cover all asymptomatic cases in the identified red zones and hotspots across the country. A network of 907 labs -- including 659 labs in the government sector and 248 in the private sector ---have been established as on date, the ministry said, reiterating that RT-PCR is the gold standard frontline test for diagnosis of COVID-19. RT-PCR is a throat/nasal swab test.
A total of 59,21,069 samples have been tested for COVID-19 so far with 1,54,935 samples analysed in the last 24 hours, it said.
Besides, in order to enhance the testing capacity in Delhi, each of the 11 districts shall now have assigned labs for exclusively testing the samples from the respective districts, the ministry said in a statement. The samples from each district are being sent to these labs to ensure timely testing and getting the results without any delay.
Currently there are 42 labs in Delhi with daily testing capacity of about 17,000 samples.
At a video conference in Hyderabad, a group of medical experts and scientists said there is a need to evolve a rational state testing policy based on the local conditions rather than strictly adhering to the broad guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The meeting by Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan with the experts including the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Director Rakesh Mishra was convened to seek their opinion on evolving a "discrete, proactive and concrete strategy in combating COVID-19."
"Since lockdown is not an affordable option, for a prolonged period, the only strategy that can be adopted is test, trace and treat," the experts were also quoted as having said in a Raj Bhavan release.
Of the total 9,900 COVID-19 deaths, Maharashtra tops the tally with 4,128 fatalities followed by Gujarat (1,505), Delhi (1,400), West Bengal (485), Tamil Nadu (479), Madhya Pradesh (465), Uttar Pradesh (399), Rajasthan (301) and Telangana (187).
The death toll reached 100 in Haryana, 89 in Karnataka, 88 in Andhra Pradesh and 71 in Punjab. Jammu and Kashmir has reported 62 fatalities, Bihar 40, Uttarakhand 24, Kerala 20 and Odisha 11.
Jharkhand, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh have registered 8 deaths each while Chandigarh has reported 6 and Puducherry 5. Meghalaya, Tripura and Ladakh reported 1 fatality each, according to the health ministry.
More than 70 per cent deaths have occurred due to comorbidities, the ministry said. Comorbidity is the state of having multiple medical conditions at the same time,
The Union Health ministry also said that as part of efforts to provide reasonable health care to COVID-19 patients, some states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh have reached an agreement with the private sector.