Amid the ongoing festive season, coronavirus cases that have been on a record low are once again witnessing a slight spike.
In a communication to chief secretaries of all states and union territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that existing protocols for curbing the spread of Covid-19 will continue till November 30. Last month, he had said that there was a possibility that Covid-appropriate behaviour might not be adhered to strictly, especially during the festival season and hence it was critical to enforce guidelines that allowed regular festivities in a cautious, safe and Covid-appropriate manner.
As per the health ministry’s data, on Thursday India recorded 16,156 fresh cases- a rise of 20 per cent from Wednesday. The country’s total caseload now stands at 3,42,31,809. On October 27, the country recorded 13.45k new cases and 585 new deaths. The difference between new cases reported in the last seven days and the preceding seven days in India is -2%, while the world average is +4%.
Meanwhile, the latest mutation of the coronavirus variant, AY4.2, which has been linked to a rise in cases in the United Kingdom, is 'very infrequent' in India, according to a weekly report by the India SARS-CoV-2 Genome Consortium (INSACOG), the body that tracks the emergence of new variants.
Here are states/ districts which are reporting a spike in cases
Coronavirus cases in Faridabad, Haryana have witnessed a slight increase as compared to other districts of Haryana during the past few days. In contrast, most of the 22 districts of Haryana have not reported any fresh case for the past several days. Faridabad, adjoining the national capital, reported 10 fresh cases of the novel coronavirus on October 24. In the last few days, it has seen a slight increase in the figure. Faridabad Deputy Commissioner Jitender Yadav has directed the officials concerned to ensure that the people wear face masks and follow social distancing norms in market places.
A slight increase in new Covid-19 cases in the city has spurred the health department to issue a stay-at-home advisory for people who may be vulnerable to the infection. The authorities in the district have been asked to keep an eye on crowded places and busy market areas to ensure people wear masks and follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
For the first time after September 4, the city and district registered five new Covid-19 cases within 24 hours. The cases have been increasing consistently since last weekend. Reportedly, the new cases were reported from Jetalpur, Gorwa, Manjalpur and Dandia Bazar areas of the city. There were no new cases from areas of the district outside Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) limits.
The state has reported cases of the new Covid-19 variant AY.4, following which the Karnataka government is mulling to impose fresh guidelines. Following the rise in the cases, the Centre decided to step in ahead of the festival season as fears of COVID-19 third wave mounts. "A team is investigating the new COVID19 variant AY.4.2. ICMR and NCDC teams study and analyze the different variants," Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya told ANI.
Maharashtra for the second day in a row recorded 1,485 new cases and 38 people died due to coronavirus. In the wake of the rising cases, the Union Health Ministry has written to several states and Union Territories urging them to prioritise administering the second dose to beneficiaries who are yet to take their second dose. Health experts have warned of the new Delta plus sub-variant, AY.4.2, which spreads faster than earlier variants and urged people to follow social distancing norms and use masks. They added that those who are unvaccinated are at higher risk of contracting it.
The Rajasthan government has expressed concern over the new COVID variant, and chief minister Ashok Gehlot asked the central government to prepare and issue standard operating procedures (SOPs) for its prevention. In a tweet, he said many cases of Delta Plus AY.4.2, a new mutated form of coronavirus that has killed thousands of people in several countries like Russia and the UK, have been found in India.
Attributing the case spike to Durga Puja festivities, authorities have imposed a lockdown in Sonarpur municipality area in South 24 Parganas district of Bengal for three days. It is about 20 km from the capital Kolkata. Only emergency services will be allowed to function during this period. There are 19 containment zones in the Sonarpur area so far. The ICMR has mentioned that since Durga Puja, Covid-19 cases have increased by around 25 per cent in Kolkata.
Are Covid Cases Rising Globally?
Several countries have imposed fresh restrictions and lockdowns as the world enters its second winter with Covid-19. The Ukrainian capital Kyiv will tighten lockdown restrictions due to a spike in coronavirus cases, mayor Vitali Klitschko said. As Russia reported record numbers of daily coronavirus cases and deaths, Moscow shut down non-essential services for 11 days to combat the surge in infections.
Meanwhile in China, where the Covid-19 infection first emerged- the third city went under lockdown to tackle Covid-19 numbers. The resurgence prompted officials this week to lock down Lanzhou city-with a population of over four million -and Ejin in the Inner Mongolia region.
Europe stood out as the only major region worldwide to report an increase in both coronavirus cases and deaths over the last week, with double-digit percentage increases in each, WHO said. Coming back to Asia, Singapore’s health ministry is looking into an “unusual surge” in infections after the city-state reported 5,324 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, the most since the beginning of the pandemic.
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