The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the State governments and UTs to avoid large gatherings in view of an increase in Covid cases. It has also asked the State governments to follow Covid guidelines. In a communication on Friday, the Ministry said, “As a precaution, against Covid-19, large congregation in the ceremony be avoide. It is imperative that Covid guidelines are followed.”

Slight rise in daily cases

Meanwhile, India saw a two per cent rise in daily Covid cases on Friday to 16,561. On Thursday, infections stood at 16,299, according to data released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The country’s daily positivity rate was up at 5.44 per cent.

The country reported 49 deaths, slightly lower than the previous day’s tally of 53, of which, 10 were reconciliation from Kerala. Delhi and Karnataka reported the highest number of deaths with six fatalities each, followed by Maarashtra (five) and West Bengal (four).

Active cases account for 0.31 per cent of the total cases; on a daily basis it declined by 1,541. Cases declined across most States, apart from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Odisha and Delhi. Among the States, the National Capital had the highest daily addition with active cases of 635.

Viral infections in Delhi

According to the last available reports on August 12, Delhi reported 2,726 fresh Covid infections – on a 24-hour basis – with positivity rate hovering at 14.38 per cent. The National Capital has, for some days, been logging more than 2,000 cases a day. Mask mandates and a fine of ₹500 for violation of the mandates have apparently been reintroduced in the Union Territory.

According to Satish Koul, Director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research, water-borne and vector-borne diseases are associated with the rainy season. “This year, we are facing a spurt of sub-variant of Omicron infections. Covid cases, though, are having mild illness and are usually recovering at home,” he said. Hospital admissions are due to dengue, typhoid and other diseases, said Koul.

According to Vikas Maurya, Director and HoD-Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, there have been higher cases of swine flu, which require hospitalisation. Some patients may also require extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) if their oxygen requirement is not met despite high ventilator support.

Hospitals are also testing “all patients who are coming with respiratory issues” and are even performing multiplex PCR for assessment and detection in order to prevent “serious damage of the lungs”.

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