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Coronavirus LIVE Updates: ICSE class 10, 12 exams deferred due to COVID-19 surge, new dates likely to be announced in June

FP Staff
·6 min read

Coronavirus LATEST Updates: The CISCE on Friday deferred the ICSE (Class 10) and ISC (Class 12) board examinations in view of the new COVID-19 wave across the country. The exams were scheduled to be held from 4 May, 2021.

The Election Commission (EC) on Friday curtailed the hours allowed for campaigning in West Bengal in view of the COVID-19 wave in the state and across the country. The move comes in the backdrop of Opposition parties asking the poll panel to club the remaining three phases of the Assembly election.

"There shall not be any campaign between 7 pm and 10 am on campaigning days. Silence period extended from 48 hours to 72 hours in each of the remaining three phases in West Bengal," the statement said.

Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday tweeted that he had contracted the COVID-19 virus, and advised all those who had come in contact with him to get tested.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said, "I request you to instruct the concerns officials of Health Ministry to supply 60 lakh doses of vaccine to my state."

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said, "Congress president Smt. Sonia Gandhi has rightly said that we politicians are also to be blamed to some extent for the spread of Corona infection. Now a new Corona variant has appeared and there is frightening situation in the country."

His comment came after he announced the weekend curfew in the state and urged citizens to cooperate with the state government and follow all relevant Covid-19-appropriate protocols.

The Karnataka chief minister will be shifted to Manipal hospital from Ramaiah Memorial hospital in Bengaluru where he was admitted earlier on Friday following a fever.

Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala cumulatively account for 65.86 percent of India's total active COVID-19 cases, the Union health ministry said on Friday.

Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 61,695. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh with 22,339 while, Delhi reported 16,699 new cases.

As the number of COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate continue to rise in the city, Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced a curfew this weekend till 30 April as part of restrictions to curb the spread of virus.

Registering a steady increase for the 37th day in a row, the active COVID-19 cases have increased to 15,69,743, comprising 10.98 percent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate dropped to 87.80 percent.

With the death of 1,185 more COVID-19 patients in the country, the total number of fatalities climbed to 1,74,308 on Friday, said the Union health ministry.

India registered 2,17,353 fresh COVID-19 infections in a day, taking the overall count over 1.42 crore as on Friday, said the Union health ministry.

The Congress leader advised all those who came in contact with him in the last five days to self isolate and take necessary precautions.

In just a matter of weeks, Delhi has become the worst-hit city in the country in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a situation that some doctors are describing as an "absolute rampage".

On Thursday, Delhi recorded 16,699 fresh cases of COVID-19 and 112 fatalities taking the positivity rate to 20.22 percent, the highest ever since the start of the pandemic, according to data shared by the health department.

The previous highest positivity rate till the third wave, was on 14 November last year at 15.33 percent.

With an exponential rise in cases, the National Capital has left far behind the financial capital Mumbai, which at one point was the largest COVID hotspot in the country.

Mumbai's single day peak so far has been 11,163 cases, registered on 4 April, according to officials figures.

"It is an absolute rampage in the city. Young and old, vaccinated or not vaccinated, the virus is just hitting everyone. Delhi's situation is grim," said Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, a senior consultant at Apollo Hospital.

While Delhi's numbers were lower than on Wednesday, that was because it conducted much fewer tests about 20,000 less, leading to a positivity rate of 20.22 percent.

On Wednesday, Bengaluru recorded 8,155 cases and Chennai 2,564 cases, their highest daily surge. Pune's highest single-day since the pandemic began was 12,494 cases, recorded on 4 April.

The unprecedented surge in cases, especially in the last few days, has left other doctors and medical experts baffled, with some conjecturing that the virus has mutated and assumed so many different strains, some of which are far more infectious than others.

"Given the surge in cases in the last few days, it is an absolute rampage. We will have to watch for the next few days, as far as hitting the peak of the wave here is concerned," said Dr Avdhesh Bansal, a pulmonologist at the Apollo hospital.

"Also, in this wave, the severity is such that in many cases, either majority of family members or all family members are getting infected," he added.

He also felt that vaccination for the general masses "started a bit late" and many frontline workers did not opt for the vaccine, leading to its "wastage".

"Early vaccination could have given a protective layer to large number of general masses," the doctor said.

He said about two percent of the people admitted to hospital are dying.

The other reason for the surge was the carelessness of people who assumed the pandemic was over when Delhi's numbers went down dramatically in February.

A Delhi government hospital doctor, on the condition of anonymity, said, "people had thrown caution to the wind, and were socialising and partying with gay abandon again. This has led to the surge too".

Bansal also expressed worry about the huge number of people testing positive from the Kumbh Mela area in Haridwar, who run the risk of infecting others.

Over 1,700 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Haridwar Kumbh Mela area from 10 to 14 April confirming fears that one of the world's largest religious gatherings may contribute further to the rapid rise in coronavirus cases.

The previous highest single-day spike in Delhi till the third wave of the pandemic - 8,593 cases - was reported on 11 November in 2020, while on 18 November, the city had recorded 131 COVID-19 deaths, the highest single-day fatality count till date. That figure was surpassed on 11 April when 10,774 cases were recorded.

Since then Delhi has been on an upward spiral with 13,468 cases on Tuesday, and eventually 17,282 cases on Wednesday.

Compare that with the situation in March: Delhi had registered 23,141 cases and 117 deaths that month. In comparison, Mumbai had 88,710 cases and 216 fatalities in March.

Richa Sareen, consultant, pulmonology at Fortis Hospital here, said, "Given the pace of spread, it definitely seems there is a different variant in circulation and it is more infectious than the previous one."

She said the younger population was getting more infected as elderly have mostly got vaccinated, and the older population is more at home. But the younger people have been going out and meeting others or socialising, partying or travelling, which increases the chance of infection, Sareen said.

Also See: Maharashtra, UP, Delhi worst-affected as daily cases cross 2.17 lakh; Centre to ramp up Covaxin production

Rajasthan announces weekend curfew from 6 pm today; fruit, vegetable and milk vendors among exempted

India registers 2.34 lakh COVID-19 cases, 1,341 deaths in past 24 hours; active cases cross 16 lakh

Read more on Health by Firstpost.