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Month Of May Could Be ‘Make Or Break’ For COVID-19 Fight, Say Medical Experts

Medical experts suggest that even after May 3, the deadline for the lockdown, an aggressive containment strategy should be followed in areas that are under high-risk zones

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New Delhi: As the May 3 deadline for the lockdown nears, medical experts feel the next month can be “make or break” for the fight against COVID-19 and an aggressive containment strategy for hotspots along with insulation of green zones is essential while giving some relaxations. The experts also suggested that railways, air travel, inter-state bus services, malls, shopping complexes, religious places, among others, should be kept shut at least for the month of May. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday had told chief ministers that the country will have to give importance to the economy while continuing the fight against coronavirus.

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The Centre on Wednesday gave clear indications that the ongoing nationwide lockdown will be extended beyond May 3, but with “considerable relaxations” to people and services in “many districts”. Medical experts feel an aggressive containment strategy in red zones and insulation of green zones is a must while giving relaxations.

The number of COVID-19 hotspot districts in India has come down to 129 from 170 a fortnight ago, but in the same period the number of infection-free districts or green zones too decreased from 325 to 307, official sources said on Wednesday. During this time, the number of non-hotspot districts, also known as orange zones, increased from 207 to 297, they said. Dr Rajesh Kumar Gupta, Additional Director, Pulmonology and Critical Care, Fortis Noida, said it is important to understand that the lockdown does not kill the virus, it only slows the spread.

Dr. Gupta suggested that the lockdown should be continued in red zones for about two weeks or some more time, and curbs be lifted in green zones while ensuring that there is no intermingling between them. May could be the “make or break” month for the fight against COVID-19 and it is important to keep curbs on in places from where cases are being reported, he told PTI. Dr Arvind Kumar, a noted lung surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said it was important that railways, air services, interstate bus services, malls, shopping complexes, religious places etc., should be kept shut.

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The borders of green districts should be sealed and limited activities be allowed while ensuring social distancing with hand washing and wearing of masks being part of people’s lifestyle, he told PTI. In districts where cases have been reported, the lockdown should continue until such a time when there is a downward trend.

May is very crucial in this fight against COVID-19 as India has done well till now and it is important to keep the cases in check and follow an aggressive containment strategy in red zones, while being very cautious in lifting curbs in green zones, Kumar said. Dr Rommel Tickoo, Associate Director, Internal Medicine, Max Healthcare, said any major relaxation at this juncture of the fight against COVID-19 could be “disastrous”.

He advocated that restrictions remain in place at least for one more month, asserting “May could be the make or break month” in the nation’s battle against COVID-19. “Places like malls, schools, colleges, markets should remain closed through the month of May as one slip up could lead to major spread, undoing the good work,” he told PTI. He asserted,

I would say lockdown should be in place for at least four more weeks. Numbers are increasing so it is not the time to remove it. Some economic activity can be allowed in green zones, but we have to be very careful.

India seems to be better placed than the US and other western countries, but Prime Minister Modi has cautioned against complacency. At various benchmark numbers, India seems to have done relatively better than most advanced nations.

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At the 1,000 deaths benchmark, India had registered 31,332 cases, while Italy (15,113), UK (17,089), France (22,304), Spain (21,571) and Belgium (15,348), had registered lesser cases, according to official data. This shows that India’s death rate, the number of deaths with respect to the number of cases, remains low.

Till now, India also seems to have done well in checking the increase rate of doubling of cases, which was three days when cases increased from 2,000 to 4,000 and went up to 10 days in doubling of cases from 16,000-32,000. India has the best rate of doubling of cases from 16,000-32,000 when compared with the US, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the UK.

The death toll due to the novel coronavirus pandemic rose to 1,074 after 66 more fatalities and the number of cases climbed to 33,050 in the country on Thursday, according to the Union Health Ministry. To maintain the good work till now, focus is now on containment strategy in red zones. The government has already identified 15 districts in nine states, including Delhi, Maharashtra and Gujarat, as having “high case load”. Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant tweeted on Monday,

These 15 districts are critical in our battle against COVID-19. Of them, 7 show particularly high case volumes. India’s success in battling COVID-19 is dependent on them. We must aggressively monitor, contain, test, treat in these districts! We must win here.

The nationwide lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Modi on March 24 in to combat the coronavirus threat. It was extended till May 3. Travel restrictions and other curbs may remain for some time and will eventually go away, but looking at global trends and the spread of the pandemic, it seems wearing masks, washing hands and practicing social distancing would be a way of life from here on, experts say.

Also Read: Children In South Asia Could Face Health Crisis Amid COVID-19: UNICEF

World

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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