74 new cases push COVID-19 tally of Andamans to 5,949

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Port Blair, May 1 (PTI) At least 74 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, taking the tally in the Union Territory to 5,949, a health department official said on Saturday.

Ten new patients have travel history, and 64 were detected during contact tracing, he said.

The death toll remained at 67 as no fresh fatality due to the infection was reported in the last 24 hours.

Fifty-eight people were cured of the disease during the period, taking the total number of recoveries in the archipelago to 5,701.

The Union Territory now has 181 active cases -180 in South Andaman and one in North and Middle Andaman.

The local administration has been strict to contain the spread of the disease and has adopted an approach of tracking, testing and treating, he said.

'People arriving here from the mainland are mandatorily required to undergo rapid antigen test,' the health department official said.

At least 10 areas in South Andaman district were declared as containment zones, he said.

In addition to the night curfew, the district administration has also ordered closure of many business establishments, barring grocery and vegetable stores, meat and fish shops, bakeries and milk parlours, from Sunday.

The administration also ordered shutdown of dine-in facilities at restaurants and hotels, eateries and tea shops, the official said.

Medical shops, medical equipment outlets and all other essential services along with home delivery of food have been kept out of the order's purview.

Social, political, cultural, academic, religious and entertainment-related gatherings and congregations will also be prohibited in the district for the time being, according to the order.

The tourism sector is facing the brunt of the second wave of coronavirus cases as many people have started cancelling their bookings in view of the current COVID situation, industry sources said.

'Arrangements have been made to quarantine coronavirus-positive passengers at government-run facilities.

If a traveller is diagnosed with the disease, he or she can also stay at identified hotels on a payment basis,' the official said.

Altogether, 1,08,597 people have been inoculated in the archipelago, with 13,507 of them having received both doses of the COVID vaccine.

The Andaman and Nicobar administration has conducted 3,70,896 sample tests for COVID-19 so far, and the positivity rate stands at 1.60 per cent. PTI COR BDC BDC