Coronavirus in India April 29 Highlights: Delhi records 395 Covid deaths in all-time high, positivity rate shoots up to 32.8%

by Joseph K. Clark

Health workers wearing PPE suits sit on a bench during a break from the cremation of COVID-19 victims in Noida. (PTI photo)

Coronavirus India News Live, Covid-19 Cases in India State-Wise April 29 Highlights: Intending to cover the maximum number of people under the ongoing vaccination drive, one of the largest in the world, against Coronavirus, India on Wednesday opened registration for a larger and younger population group — all citizens above 18 years of age. As many as 1.33 crore people have signed up for the third phase of the vaccination drive.


In the 18-44 age group, India has 59.46 crore people. Covering them all in a single phase is a herculean task. Many states are already complaining of vaccine shortages just ahead of the third vaccination phase on May 1. Reports suggested those above 18 years were struggled to get a slot for vaccination. Most hospitals in states including Gujarat, Chandigarh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, and Assam displayed unavailability of slots for those under 45 years of age. According to reports, the 18 plus age group in the worst-hit state of Maharashtra will have to wait till May-end for a vaccine. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, “Schedule after procurement plan is drawn up.” In Delhi, the phase 3 vaccination drive is unlikely to start big, while the affair is likely to be ceremonial in Uttar Pradesh. Chhattisgarh, one of the worst affected states, has vaccine supply till July-end. Telangana is facing a shortage of vaccine supply. States like Odisha, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Punjab, and Andhra may not begin the drive on May 1.

Also read: Vaccine registration opens for all adults at 4 pm on Co-Win app: What to expect from May 1?

Revised guidelines for home isolation of mild COVID-19 cases

On Thursday, the health ministry issued the “Revised guidelines for home isolation of mild/asymptomatic COVID-19 cases,” in which it advised against attempting to procure or administer Remdesivir injections at home, underlining that it should be administered only in a hospital setting. The guidelines stated that systemic oral steroids are not indicated in mild cases. If the symptoms (persistent fever, worsening cough, etc.) persist beyond seven days, the treating doctor should be consulted for treatment with low-dose oral steroids.

Elderly patients aged more than 60 years and those with co-morbid conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung or liver or kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, etc., shall only be allowed home isolation after a proper evaluation the treating medical officer, it added. In case of falling oxygen saturation levels or shortness of breath, the person should require hospital admission and seek immediate consultation with the treating physician or surveillance team. Elderly patients aged more than 60 years and those with co-morbid conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung or liver or kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, etc., shall only be allowed home isolation after a proper evaluation the treating medical officer. According to the revised guidelines, the patients may perform warm-water gargles or take steam inhalation twice daily. “If fever is not controlled with a maximum dose of the tab. Paracetamol 650 mg four times a day. Consult the treating doctor, who may consider advising other drugs like a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) (ex: tab. Naproxen 250 mg twice a day). “Tab. Ivermectin (200 mcg/kg once a day, to be taken on an empty stomach) for 3 to 5 days should be considered,” the guidelines stated.

Inhalational Budesonide (given via inhalers with spacer at a dose of 800 mcg twice daily for five to seven days) to be given if the symptoms (fever and/or cough) persist beyond five days, they added. The ministry said that a medical professional must take the decision to administer Remdesivir or any other investigational therapy. It should be administered only in a hospital setting. “Do not attempt to procure or administer Remdesivir at home. Systemic oral steroids are not indicated in mild disease. If symptoms persist beyond seven days (persistent fever, worsening cough, etc.), consult the treating doctor for treatment with low-dose oral steroids,” the guidelines said. The revised guidelines stated that the asymptomatic cases are laboratory-confirmed cases that are not experiencing any symptoms and have oxygen saturation at room air of more than 94 percent. In contrast, the mild cases are patients with upper respiratory tract symptoms (and/or fever) without shortness of breath and having oxygen saturation at room air of more than 94 percent.

Patients eligible for home isolation should be clinically assigned as the treating medical officer’s mild or asymptomatic cases. They should have the requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation and quarantining the family contacts. The caregiver and all close contacts of such cases should take Hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis by the protocol and as prescribed. The patients must isolate themselves from the other family members, stay in the identified room, and away from others, especially elderly people and those with comorbidities like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, renal disease, etc. The patients should be kept in well-ventilated rooms with cross-ventilation, the windows should be kept open to allow fresh air to come in, and should at all times use a triple-layer medical mask, the guidelines read. “The mask should be discarded after eight hours of use or earlier if they become wet or visibly soiled. If the caregiver enters the room, both the caregiver and the patient may consider using the N95 mask. “The masks should be discarded only after disinfecting it with one percent sodium hypochlorite,” the guidelines stated.

A caregiver should be available to provide care on a 24×7 basis. A communication link between the caregiver and the hospital is a prerequisite for the entire duration of home isolation. Patients suffering from an immune-compromised status (HIV positive, transplant recipients, cancer therapy, etc.) are not recommended for home isolation and shall only be allowed home isolation after a proper evaluation, the guidelines read. It advised the patients to rest and drink a lot of fluids to maintain adequate hydration, follow respiratory etiquettes at all times, not share personal items with others. “Ensure cleaning of surfaces in the room that are touched often (tabletops, doorknobs, handles, etc.) with a one-percent hypochlorite solution. Self-monitoring of blood oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter is strongly advised,” the guidelines stated. According to the guidelines, the patients must communicate with a treating physician and promptly report to the latter in case of any deterioration. They should continue the medications for other comorbidities after consulting the treating physician. Patients under home isolation will stand discharged after at least 10 days have passed from the onset of the symptoms (or from the date of sampling for asymptomatic cases) and no fever for three days. There is no need for testing after the home isolation period is over, the document stated.

Also, read COVID-19 vaccination India phase 3 for everyone above 18 years from May 1: Where, when, and how to register.

According to the Union Health Ministry data on Thursday, India saw a record single-day surge of 3,79,257 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, pushing the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,83,76,524, while active topics crossed the 30-lakh mark. The death toll increased to 2,04,832 with a record 3,645 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Meanwhile, Goa will go under a four-day strict lockdown from today as Covid-19 cases spike in the state. The Madhya Pradesh government has also extended the ‘Corona curfew’ till May 7. Curfew and weekend lockdown has been imposed in Mohali.

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