Yogi Asks Officials to Double Testing, Vaccination as UP Sees Record 38,000 Covid-19 Cases

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With projections by the Centre that Uttar Pradesh could see a big jump in cases in the second wave, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked officials to double the current rate of testing at about 2.25 lakh tests a day by May 10 and increase vaccination to nearly 6.5 lakh people daily from May 1.

"The second coronavirus wave is almost 30 times more infectious than the previous one. To consider it as a simple fever would be a big mistake. I am myself fighting it since April 13. We have to be 10 steps ahead of the virus to defeat it," Adityanath told a group of editors in a video-conference on Saturday. The CM was present in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Friday review meeting where NITI Aayog member VK Paul said UP could hit over a lakh daily cases soon going by the current trajectory. The state on Saturday recorded its highest single-day spike in new infections and coronavirus-related deaths with 38,055 fresh cases and 223 fatalities, pushing the virus tally to 10,51,314 and the toll to 10,959. Lucknow also accounted for a maximum of 5,461 fresh COVID-19 cases, followed by Varanasi (2,786), Kanpur (2,044), Meerut (1,745), Prayagraj (1,468), Moradabad (1,351), Gorakhpur (1,344) and Bareilly (1,024).

Adityanath, however, said the fact that over 23,000 infected patients have also recovered was a sign that things could improve soon. "There is no shortage of medicines like Remdesivir. We are sending our state plane to Ahmedabad daily to bring in supplies. There is no shortage of oxygen either provided it is given to only those who need it. Every infected person does not need oxygen. There is no shortage of oxygen in any hospital. The problem is of hoarding and black-marketing. People who do not need an oxygen cylinder are also stressed over it," the CM told editors.

He also expressed hope over the number of recoveries in Lucknow in the last three days that have been were more than the number of infections. He said a similar situation was emerging in other cities like Varanasi and Prayagraj. On Saturday, Lucknow saw 5,799 recoveries against fresh 5,461 cases. UP has so far conducted about 4 crore tests and now, the CM asked the administration to double the daily testing figures to 4.5 lakh by May 10. "UP was the first to decide on vaccination for all above 18 years. From May 1, we will vaccinate 6.5 lakh people daily," the CM said. UP has been vaccinating about 2 lakh people daily on days when vaccination is underway.

The state government has asked people to get themselves vaccinated even during weekend lockdowns and instructions have been issued to ensure people face no hurdles in this regard.

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