COVID-19 spreading at fast pace, next 4 weeks critical: Centre

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STATE TIMES NEWS

New Delhi: COVID-19 is spreading at a fast pace with an increase in the intensity of the pandemic and the next four weeks are going to be very critical, the Centre said on Tuesday as it stressed on people’s participation to control the second wave of the contagion.
At a press conference, NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr V K Paul said the pandemic situation in the country worsened with a sharp rise in cases and a large part of the population is still susceptible to the virus.

J&K records 561 fresh COVID-19 cases, 2 more deaths

Indoor sports activities suspended temporarily in UT

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir recorded 561 fresh COVID-19 cases on Tuesday that took its tally to 1,34,015, while two more fatalities pushed the death toll to 2,012, officials said.
Of the fresh cases, 384 were reported from the Kashmir division and 177 from the Jammu division, they said.
Srinagar district recorded the highest number of fresh cases at 222, including 63 travellers, followed by 99 in Jammu and 54 in Baramulla, according to the officials.
Budgam, Anantnag, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Udhampur and Kathy were the other districts that registered cases in double digits. Nine other districts recorded fresh cases in single digits while two did not report any new cases.
The number of active cases in Jammu and Kashmir stands at 4,483, while 1,27,520 patients have recovered so far, the officials said.
The two deaths were reported from the Kashmir valley, they said.
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has ordered a temporary suspension of indoor sports activities in view of a surge in coronavirus cases in the Union territory in the last few weeks.
An order issued by Principal Secretary, Youth Services and Sports Department, Alok Kumar, stated it was likely for young sportspersons to get infected as chances of transmission of the virus while playing close contact sports has increased due to the recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.
“It is hereby ordered that all close-contact sports like boxing, wrestling, judo karate, kabbadi, kho-kho, thanga-ta, taekwondo, wushu and many other sports of similar character shall remain temporarily suspended till further orders,” it said.
The order, however, stated that other sports activities could be conducted following necessary standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Centre.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration had already ordered closure of all schools for students up to class 9 for two weeks and for students of classes 10, 11 and 12 for a week from April 5, besides restricting the social gathering to 200 people with strict adherence to SOPs and guidelines.


The tools to fight the pandemic remain the same. COVID-appropriate behaviour, containment measures, testing have to be implemented more efficiently, medical infrastructure has to be ramped up and vaccination drive intensified, he said.
COVID-appropriate behaviour like wearing masks, staying away from crowds have to be followed in a campaign mode, Paul reminded people.
“The intensity of the pandemic has increased and it is spreading faster than last time. In some states, it (the condition) is worse than others but the upswing (in cases) can be observed across the country,” he said.
“People’s participation is vital to control the second wave. The next four weeks are going to very critical. The entire country has to come together and make efforts to fight the pandemic.”
He said the number of coronavirus cases is increasing and along with that mortality is also on the rise. “Still, in terms of the population size and in terms of deaths per million we are doing well and the pandemic is in control.”
Detailing the COVID-19 situation in India, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said Chhattisgarh’s Durg is among the top 10 districts with high active COVID cases.
“Among these 10 districts, seven are in Maharashtra and one in Karnataka. Delhi, counted as one district, is also in the list.”
The 10 districts with the highest number of new cases are Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Nashik, Bengaluru Urban, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Delhi and Durg, he said.
Bhushan further said that Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh still remain states of maximum concern. “Given their population, the number of deaths being reported by Punjab and Chhattisgarh is a cause of extreme concern,” he said.
The Centre has constituted 50 high-level multi-disciplinary public health teams and deployed them to districts reporting a surge in cases and mortality in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab, the Union health secretary said.
These teams were being deployed in 30 districts of Maharashtra, 11 of Chhattisgarh and nine of Punjab.
Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal were among the states that administered the maximum number of COVID vaccine doses, Bhushan said and emphasised that the immunisation drive has to be ramped up in a scientific manner.