India Coronavirus Dispatch: Tonnes of waste generated battling the pandemic

Haryana reported 63,867 confirmed Covid-19 infections in September
A pandemic of biomedical waste: The pandemic has left India grappling with tonnes of waste. The problem is complicated by the fact that the waste also constitutes a transmission hazard if not segregated and disposed of properly. The pandemic has seen a huge surge in the usage of PPE, and its components such as face masks and gloves. The CPCB doesn't consider masks from households without a Covid-19 patient as biomedical waste. Unsegregated waste are a particularly major concern from quarantine centres. If proper guidelines for their disposal are not followed, it's the sanitation workers who are first at risk of contracting the virus. Some states don't even have waste processing facilities yet. Read more here 

Why the Accessible India Campaign drags: Accessible India Campaign, or Sugamya Bharat, was launched in 2015 with the aim of ensuring universal access to civic infrastructure, both physical and digital. As pandemic spreads in India, the programme’s sluggish pace resulted in people with disabilities feeling its effects disproportionately hard. A major shortcoming has been the fact that some of the country’s largest public hospitals have remained inaccessible to people with disabilities amid Covid-19. The fear of contracting the virus through touch kept hospital workers away from disabled patients whom they might have otherwise assisted physically. But not all problems are restricted to the physical sphere alone, as the writer argues that problems of effective communication have also grown. Read more here

In Numbers

A tenth of deaths: India now accounts for almost 10 per cent of all the recorded Covid-19 deaths in the world. India, of late, has been contributing as high as 15 to 25 per cent of global deaths on a daily basis with over a thousand deaths per day. Even the US has been reporting less daily deaths than India. This is despite the fact that India has a very low deaths per million. There is some scepticism about India’s overall Covid death toll, however. The daily deaths throughout September remained consistently within the range of 1,000 and 1,200. Case Fatality Ratio, the number of deaths as a proportion of confirmed cases, has been declining over time. In the month of September, for example, the CFR fell from 1.76 per cent to 1.56 per cent. Read more here

Haryana cases, deaths double: Haryana reported 63,867 confirmed Covid-19 infections in September. This is a 98.66 per cent rise in case numbers compared to the figure at the end of August. At least 693 persons, meanwhile, died due to the virus only in September as compared to 689 till August-end. The state had tested 11,50,126 samples till August-end out of which 10,79,232 had turned out negative. In September, it added 7,70,055 samples to its testing numbers — averaging at over 25,000 daily tests — out of which 70,5674 were negative. Further, the state saw 19,778 cases in the three districts adjoining Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Sonipat. Several districts adjoining Delhi and other areas also saw a jump of two to three times in confirmed cases. Read more here

An analysis of Pune’s deaths: An analysis of Covid-19 3,345 deaths in Pune city till September 29 has found that the majority suffered co-morbid conditions. At least 99 of them were brought dead and 2,206 persons — nearly 60 per cent of the total deaths — were above the age of 60 . Further, at least 394 suffered from hypertension and 316 had diabetes. Of the 3,345 deaths, males accounted for 2,219. 123 had heart issues while 126 reported kidney problems. Further, 338 people had multiple-organ dysfunction syndrome. At least 15 had multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and suffered a Covid co-infection. Read more here

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