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Covid-19 cases in India rise to 23,452, death toll at 723: Health Ministry

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Representational image | People stand in a queue to collect free food distributed by volunteers during coronavirus lockdown, in Shahpur Jat area of New Delhi | PTI
Representational image | People stand in a queue to collect free food during coronavirus lockdown, in Shahpur Jat area of New Delhi | PTI


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New Delhi: The death toll due to the novel coronavirus rose to 723 with 37 fatalities reported since Thursday evening, while the number of cases saw a record jump of 1,752 to go up to 23,452 cases on Friday, according to the Union health ministry.

The previous highest single day increase was on April 20 when 1,540 cases were reported.

The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 17,915 as 4,813 people were cured and discharged, and one patient migrated, the ministry said.

Thus, about 20.52 per cent of the cases have recovered so far, an official of the ministry said.

The total number of cases include 77 foreign nationals.

A total of 37 deaths were reported since Thursday evening of which 14 fatalities were reported from Maharashtra, nine from Gujarat, three from Uttar Pradesh, two each from Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh,Tamil Nadu and Telengana and one from Karnataka, ministry data stated.

Of the 723 deaths, Maharashtra tops the tally with 283 fatalities, followed by Gujarat at 112, Madhya Pradesh at 83, Delhi at 50, Andhra Pradesh at 29, Rajasthan at 27 and Telengana at 26.

The death toll reached 24 in Uttar Pradesh, 20 in Tamil Nadu while Karantaka has reported 18 deaths.

Punjab has registered 16 deaths while West Bengal has reported 15 fatalities.

The disease has claimed five lives in Jammu and Kashmir, while Kerala, Jharkhand and Haryana have recorded three COVID-19 deaths each.

Bihar has reported two deaths, while Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Assam have reported one fatality each, according to the ministry’s data.


Also read: 79% of 11,155 coronavirus cases locally transmitted in Pakistan


 

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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’

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A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay


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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”


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‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.


Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


 

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