With 7600 cases and 249 deaths, no sign of remission yet; India may extend lockdown

ICMR study findings of 40 patients without direct contact and travel history may be hinting at community level infection. While, Kerala’s effective prevention results in reduction of new cases.

With 7600 cases and 249 deaths, no sign of remission yet; India may extend lockdown

With 800 new cases reported in a single day on Friday, the total number of coronavirus infection cases in India has risen to 7600 now. The virus outbreak has so far claimed 249 lives in the country. Most of the states, including Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, continued reporting new cases, while Kerala, which sustained its effective prevention measures, have shown a reduction in new cases in the last three days.

Meanwhile, findings from an ICMR study revealed that about 40 people out of a total of 104 COVID-19 patients with a severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) had contracted the disease without having any recent international travel history or contact with any confirmed cases. In this context, the central medical research organisation has emphasised that COVID-19 containment activities need to be targeted in districts reporting positive cases. SARI is an acute respiratory condition in which a patient may develop complications of pneumonia or respiratory failure.

ICMR study revealed that the risk for a SARI patient getting infected with COVID-19 has risen to 2.6 per cent by April 2. The findings were based on COVID-19 tests conducted on 5,911 patients suffering from SARI in 52 districts in 20 states and Union Territories between February 15 to April 2. Out of the 5911 tests, 1.8 per cent (104) of the patients had COVID-19 infection. Of these, 39.2 per cent (40) of patients were found to have no recent international travel history or contact with the positive case of the infection, the study found.

Two per cent of the total tested had reported contacts with a confirmed case and one per cent had a history of international travel, according to the study. The study also found that males and patients aged above 50 years accounted for a higher number of cases.

The study was conducted to examine whether the COVID-19 outbreak in the country had reached the community transmission stage, concluded that intensifying surveillance for COVID-19 among SARI patients may be an efficient tool to use resources towards containment and mitigation efforts.

The Prime Minister will today hold a digital meet with chief ministers of all states and is likely to discuss the issue of lockdown extension. Odisha and Punjab have already extended the lockdown in the states till April 30.

Globally, the COVID-19 casualties have surpassed 1,02,730. The total number of confirmed cases touched 16,99,631 worldwide and about 3,72,000 have recovered too. The US remained the most affected country with more than half a million people tested positive for novel coronavirus infection, and 18,725 have died. The cases and casualties are also rising in the UK with 73,758 confirmed cases and 8,958 deaths so far.