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Kerala counts past deaths as COVID-19 case graph rises

State adding 10 to 15 deaths a day to toll; no spikes in Telangana, A.P. data; strike by doctors hits work in Karnataka

Kerala’s COVID-19 case graph continued to rise with the State reporting 3,215 new cases on Tuesday.

Fresh tests stood at 41,054 and the cumulative case burden at 1,14,033 cases, 31,156 of them active cases.

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The toll from the virus was also going up with an average of 10-15 deaths being added daily. Total deaths were 466 on Tuesday, with the Health department adding another 12 deaths that occurred earlier in the week in various districts under the COVID-19 head. Five fatalities were reported from Thiruvananthapuram, three from Thrissur and one each from Malappuram, Kozhikode, Ernakulam and Palakkad.

Locally acquired infections constituted 96% of new caseson Tuesday. A source for infections was not traced in 315 cases. The number of healthcare workers who tested positive was 89. Thiruvananthapuram reported 656 new cases

Malappuram had 348 cases, Alapuzha 338, Kozhikode 260, Ernakulam 239, Kollam 234, Kannur 213, Kottayam 192, Thrissur 188, Kasaragod 172, Pathanamthitta 146, Palakkad 136, Wayanad 64 and Idukki 29 cases.

The number of hot spots in the State as on Tuesday is 617.

Telangana’s cases were revised upward to 1,60,571 with 2,058 people testing positive on Monday. A total of 51,247 tests were conducted and results of 908 were awaited. The death toll went up to 984 with 10 more fatalities.

The 2,058 cases included 277 from Greater Hyderabad, 143 from Rangareddy, 135 from Karimnagar, 108 from Warangal Urban, 106 from Siddipet, 103 from Khammam, 97 from Medchal-Malkajgiri and 96 from Nalgonda. Of total cases, 30,400 were active, the Health department said.

In the 42 government hospitals, 3,578 oxygen beds and 557 ICU beds were vacant on Monday. In case of the 204 private hospitals, 2,722 oxygen beds and1280 ICU beds were not occupied.

Andhra Pradesh added 69 new deaths on Tuesday, besides 8,846 new infections. There were 92,353 active cases. The State claimed a COVID-19 death rate of 0.86%, and said it the lowest compared to Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Krishna district had the highest death rate and Chittoor’s toll was the highest at above 500. More deaths were seen in Nellore, Kadapa, Prakasam and Chittoor in the past month than in the first five months of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, East Godavari has been consistent in reporting highest single day peaks and it reported 1,423 cases in the past day while Prakasam saw 10 deaths. The new cases and deaths are as follows: East Godavari (1,423 and 6), Prakasam (979 and 10), West Godavari (955 and 4), Nellore (820 and 4), Srikakulam (678 and 3), Kadapa (661 and 5), Guntur (641 and 4), Visakhpatnam (574 and 5), Chittoor (572 and 9), Vizianagaram (532 and 4), Krishna (398 and 6), Kurnool (314 and 3) and Anantapur (299 and 6).

Anantapur tally crossed the 50,000-mark and so far five district tallies are above it. East Godavari’s tally is close to the 80,000-mark. The district tallie are as follows: East Godavari (79,643), West Godavari (52,520), Kurnool (52,280), Chittoor (50,718), Anantapur (50,088), Guntur (46,645), Nellore (44,950), Visakhapatnam (44,912), Prakasam (37,865), Kadapa (37,152), Srikakulam (33,425), Vizianagaram (28,959) and Krishna (21,873).

With government doctors in Karnataka on strike over higher pay, fewer COVID-19 positive cases and discharges were recorded on Tuesday. While doctors were treating patients and attending to other duties, they were not uploading reports on COVID-19 and National Health Mission. The Department of Health and Family Welfare said nine districts did not report a single discharge, while no new case was reported from Bagalkot.

There were 7,576 new cases on Tuesday and 97 deaths. Sources in the department admitted that the number of discharges and positive cases were low as doctors in many districts had decided not to upload the data. “The number of discharges and positive cases are likely to have been in the range of 8,000 to 9, 000,” said an official in the department.

G.A. Srinivas, President of Karnataka Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA), said that the doctors had decided not to update cases till their strike was called off. They will take a final call on Friday.

The office bearers of the association had a meeting with Health and Family Welfare Minister B. Sriramalu, Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar and Deputy Chief Minister C. N. Ashwathanarayana.

Dr Srinivas said, “They have heard our demands and said that they will fulfil our demands. We will discuss with our members and then take a decision.” The doctors want salaries on par with the Central Government Health Scheme scale and there are 4,000 doctors under KGMOA.

Dr Ashwathanarayana said that the State government had decided to meet their demands “to some extent.” “We have told them that we will provide them incentives and told them to call off their strike as there is a crisis and we are in the middle of the pandemic and people are suffering,” he said.

However, testing had not declined and 68,365 tests were conducted on Tuesday. The total number of positive cases in the state so far stands at 4.75 lakh while the number of discharges stands at 3.69 lakh. The total death toll due to COVID 19 now stands at 7481.

(With inputs from Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Bengaluru bureaus)