LIVE: 6-member team sent to Kerala to monitor Zika Virus situation after 14 cases reported

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(Photo by Naveen Sharma/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo by Naveen Sharma/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Union health ministry has sent a six-member team to Kerala to monitor the Zika virus situation, joint secretary of the ministry Lav Agarwal said on Friday. The outbreak comes as the state is grappling with Covid-19 cases, the number of which is steady in the state, while in the rest of the country, the situation is rapidly improving. The team comprises health experts and vector-borne disease experts. The situation is under constant monitoring of the central government, Agarwal said.

The Union health ministry on Friday said a six-member central team of experts has been dispatched to Kerala to monitor the Zika virus situation and support the state government in management of cases. The southern state, which is already grappling with Covid-19 cases, has so far reported 14 cases of Zika virus. It has been put on alert.

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According to an RTI filed by an English daily, Kerala's official Covid toll declared by the state health department is less by over 6,000 Covid-19 deaths, which have been certified by doctors on the ground.

It is reported that till June 2021, while the state declared 13,235 Covid deaths, deaths registered due to Covid by local bodies as per the chief registrar's office (birth and death) stands at 19,584 with a glaring mismatch of 6,349 deaths.

With the rise in the gap between two death figures, the case fatality rate (CFR) also experienced an increase from 0.36 per cent and 1.1 per cent as per the deaths reported by the health department and registration, respectively.

More than 1,500 PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) oxygen plants are coming up across the country, the government said on Friday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the progress of augmentation and availability of the life-saving gas. The Prime Minister's Office, in a statement, said Modi asked officials to ensure that these plants are made functional at the earliest and also told them to work closely with state governments in this regard.

India logged 43,393 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,07,52,950, while the active cases have declined to 4,58,727, according to the Union Health Ministry data on Friday. The death toll has climbed to 4,05,939 with 911 fresh fatalities.

The 911 new fatalities include 439 from Maharashtra, 142 from Kerala and 62 from Karnataka.

A total of 4,05,939 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 1,24,296 from Maharashtra, 35,663 from Karnataka, 33,253 from Tamil Nadu, 25,008 from Delhi, 22,676 from Uttar Pradesh, 17,867 from West Bengal and 16,157 from Punjab.

The union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands reported only one new COVID-19 case in the last 24 hours, pushing the tally to 7,492, a health official said on Friday.

The single case was detected during contact tracing, he said.

The archipelago now has 13 active COVID-19 cases and all the patients are in the South Andaman district. The other two districts of the union territory North and Middle Andaman and Nicobar are now coronavirus free as they don't have any active COVID-19 case, the official said.

Two more persons recuperated from COVID-19, taking the total number of recoveries to 7,351.

The coronavirus death toll in the archipelago remained unchanged at 128 as no fresh fatality was recorded, the official said.

The administration has far tested 4,16,815 samples for COVID-19, in which the positivity rate was 1.80 per cent.

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