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Covid cases on the rise, it’s time to don a mask again

Covid cases on the rise, it’s time to don a mask again
  • On Thursday, India reported the highest number of fresh Covid-19 cases in 195 days.
  • The death toll has now reached 5,30,929, with 13 new deaths reported.
  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has stated that antibiotics should not be used unless there is clinical suspicion of bacterial infection.
While we had thought that Covid was behind us, that is sadly not the case. Covid cases are on the rise again.

The latest data from the Union Health Ministry updated on Thursday reveals that India has reported the highest number of fresh coronavirus cases in 195 days, with 5,335 cases recorded. The number of active cases has also increased to 25,587.

The data also shows that on September 23 of last year, 5,383 cases were recorded in a single day. The death toll has now reached 5,30,929, with 13 new deaths reported. The daily positivity rate is recorded at 3.32%, while the weekly positivity rate is at 2.89%.

The total number of Covid cases in India now stands at 4.47 crore (4,47,39,054) according to the ministry's data.

Health ministry guidelines

A survey by LocalCircles, a community social media platform, finds that 76% of respondents did not take any Covid test despite the symptoms, while 12% admitted to having taken a RT-PCR said that they took both RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Test.

While people may not get tested if they have mild symptoms, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India in its clinical guidance for adult Covid-19 patients, has stated that antibiotics should not be used unless there is clinical suspicion of bacterial infection. It has also stated that steroids should not be used for a mild incidence of Covid.

Further, the guidance says that those with a mild disease (characterized by upper respiratory tract symptoms and/or fever without shortness of breath or hypoxia) must practice physical distancing, indoor mask use and maintain hand hygiene. It recommends symptomatic management through hydration, anti-pyretics (drugs used to reduce fever) and anti-tussive (cough suppressant).

The guidelines also say that one should monitor temperature and oxygen saturation by SpO2 probe to fingers, and stay in touch with the treating physician. One is advised to seek immediate medical attention if one experiences difficulty in breathing or has SpO ≤ 93% and high grade fever/ cough lasting up to 5 days.

In Maharashtra, which has seen a high incidence of cases, masks have been made compulsory for government employees, while in Tamil Nadu masks have been made compulsory at government and private hospitals.

The rising Covid cases are not a cause for panic, yet, as instances of hospitalization and death are yet not very high. However, as the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure.

(With inputs from PTI)

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