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Coronavirus | 10 States responsible for almost 77% of COVID-19 active cases, government tells Supreme Court

A health worker collects swab sample of a passenger for COVID-19 test through RT-PCR kit at New Delhi railway station.   | Photo Credit: Shivkumar Pushpakar

Ten States are responsible for almost 77% of the active COVID-19 cases in the country, the Union government told the Supreme Court on Friday.

A Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan wondered aloud whether any concrete steps were being taken by the Centre and the States to arrest the alarming rate of infection.

“Things are going from bad to worse,” the Bench observed.

The Centre said the 77% of active cases include Maharashtra (18.9%), Kerala (14.7%), Delhi (8.5%), West Bengal (5.7%), Karnataka (5.6%), Uttar Pradesh (5.4%), Rajasthan (5.5%), Chhattisgarh (5.0%), Haryana (4.7%).

“Currently, only two States have more than 50,000 cases and they contribute to almost 33% of the overall active cases,” the Centre said in a 170-page affidavit.

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The Bench said that with no vaccine in sight, the States should ensure wearing of masks and observing physical distancing.

Development of vaccines

But the Centre said nearly 30 vaccine candidates were “under development”. Five vaccine candidates were in clinical trial stage. Of this, two in Phase III trials and three in phase II trials. The recovery rate had gone up to 93.76%, with almost 8.6 million recoveries. The average cases a day had reduced by 50% since the past eight weeks.

“Our case fatality rate remains low at 1.46%, when compared to a global average of 2.36%. We stand at a total death count of 0.13 million… India is now testing on an average, almost 1.1 million samples daily. This has been a remarkable increase from 6,000 tests daily at the start of April,” the government stated.

A task force had been constituted to focus on repurposing of drugs for COVID-19. “Thirteen clinical trials of repurposed drugs have been undertaken to build a portfolio of therapeutic options for COVID-19 patients,” the affidavit said.

As of November 23, 1,166 government laboratories were reporting to the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) in addition to 968 private labs approved for COVID-19 testing. A total of 13.38 crore samples were tested by this period.

“As on November 24, a total 15,454 dedicated COVID treatment facilities with 1,54,6983 dedicated isolation beds (including 2,67,886 oxygen supported beds) have been identified. Also, a total of 79,005 ICU beds (including 40,183 ventilator beds) have been earmarked in these facilities,” the affidavit said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 10:42:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/10-states-responsible-for-almost-77-of-covid-19-active-cases-government-tells-supreme-court/article33194260.ece

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