Reuters/AFP/ New Delhi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said the government is actively monitoring the supply of drugs being used to fight Covid-19. He added that the situation with regards to the black fungus infection, mucormycosis, which has affected some Covid-recovered patients was also being monitored.
The premier was speaking at a high-level meeting on the country’s Covid-19 situation and the ongoing vaccination drive.
He stressed localised containment strategies were the need of the hour specially for states where TPR (test positivity ratio) are high.
Modi also took note of reports of ventilators lying unutilised in storage in some states and directed that an immediate audit of installation and operation of ventilators provided by the central government be carried out.
The country yesterday reported its smallest daily increase in coronavirus infections in nearly three weeks, but deaths stayed near the 4,000-mark.
In the past 24 hours, India had 326,098 new infections, taking its tally to 24.37mn, with 3,890 deaths, for a toll of 266,207, health ministry data shows.
But the slow growth may also reflect test rates that are at their lowest since May 9.
Meanwhile police are patrolling the banks of the Ganges in India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh to stop any dumping of corpses in the river, a government official said.
“We keep recovering 10 to 20 bodies every now and then,” Navneet Sehgal, a spokesman for the northern state, which has more people than Brazil, said.
“We have put a police force on the river and have also sent communications to local authorities that this practice be stopped.”
Sehgal was denying a report in the Asian Age newspaper, citing federal government sources, that nearly 2,000 bodies of possible virus victims had been pulled from the river in the past week or so.
The state’s virus infections officially peaked late last month but experts say many more cases are going undetected in the villages home to the bulk of the state’s 240mn people.
Cases have fallen steadily in some Indian states hit by an initial surge in infections, such as Maharashtra and the capital New Delhi, after they imposed stringent lockdowns.
Delhi’s positive cases as a share of tests have fallen to 11%, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told a news briefing, from more than 30% early this month.
But the eastern state of West Bengal, which held elections last month, had its biggest single-day spike.
Yesterday it ordered a state-wide lockdown for 15 days until the end of May.
Some other states, such as Karnataka in the south, have also reported recent rises, implying an fall in overall cases is still some time away.
In the resort state of Goa, more than 70 people have died in four days from medical oxygen shortages at hospitals, an opposition party in the region said.
A court ordered emergency supplies of oxygen to be sent to Goa Medical College Hospital to prevent more deaths.
The state’s main opposition party said the patients died from a lack of oxygen but the government said the cause of death had not been determined.
Goa authorities nevertheless said they had asked the central government to nearly double the state’s oxygen supply to 40 tonnes per day.
Coronavirus restrictions in Goa had been relatively relaxed until the current wave of infections. The virus is now causing more than 60 deaths a day in the region and Goa has one of India’s highest infection rates.
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