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Thursday, April 22, 2021

At 3.22%, high CFR major headache for Punjab as it battles Covid surge

Punjab figure double of national rate.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
February 25, 2021 9:39:56 am
Punjab, COVID-1913 districts had a CFR more than 3 per cent while 5 districts out of these 13 had a CFR more than 4 per cent, according to the state health department. Express Photo: Kamleshwar Singh

As Punjab battles a fresh spike in Covid cases, the main concern facing authorities in the fightback is the high case fatality rate (CFR) in the state.

Till February 24, Punjab had total 1,79,819 cases out of which 5,786 deaths had been reported making the CFR reach 3.22 per cent which is more than double the country’s CFR at 1.4 per cent

However, what is more bothering is that out of 22 districts of Punjab, 13 districts had a CFR more than 3 per cent while 5 districts out of these 13 had a CFR more than 4 per cent, according to the state health department.

Tarn Taran tops the list where CFR is as high as 5 per cent as out of 2,220 cases 111 deaths were reported till 5 pm on February 24. Ropar (CFR – 4.79 per cent) holds second rank as 175 deaths were reported out of 3,656 cases till February 24. Sangrur, where 208 deaths have been reported out of 4,530 positive patients, has a CFR figure of 4.59 per cent. Hoshiarpur and Fatehgarh Sahib are at 4th and 5th positions with 4.23 per cent and 4.18 per cent CFR, respectively.

“On February 24, the state reported 566 cases against 429 cases on February 23 and I am afraid that the cases are going to increase in the coming days. We have already had a meeting with the DCs of all districts on this issue,” said Hussan Lal, Principal Secretary, Health Department while talking with The Indian Express.

Talking about the high CFR he said, “I will repeat yet again that careless attitude of people towards corona, non-adherence to wearing of masks and comorbidities are the major reasons for high CFR. In most deaths, patients reach very late in hospitals due to which it becomes difficult to manage.”

He added, “During peak period over 3,000 per day cases were also coming and even a day came when 107 deaths were reported on a single day. People had become serious after that and now once again majority are taking it ease. Moreover, people are hesitant even to get themselves vaccinated.”

Meanwhile, front line workers and health staff vaccination was started in the first phases while people above 60 and above 45 with comorbidities are to be covered in the third phase.

The districts with more than 3 per cent, but less than 4 per cent, CFR are Kapurthala (3.94 per cent) , Ludhiana at 3.80 per cent. Amritsar (3.81 per cent). Gurdaspur’s CFR is 3.35 per cent, while Moga with 95 deaths out of 2,870 cases has a CFR of 3.31 per cent. On February 24, the CFR of Jalandhar , Ferozepur and Patiala was at 3.26 per cent, 3.24 per cent and 3.01 per cent, respectively.

Hussan Lal added, “We have sufficient health facilities to manage Covid patients in private as well as government health facilities and we have sufficient beds available in all the levels. There was a time when beds were full to capacity, and we had immediately created more beds in government as well as private hospitals. However, despite that patients landed up very late.”

But state’s top districts with high CFR (Tarn Taran, Ropar, Sangrur Hoshiarpur and Fatehgarh Sahib) have very limited tertiary care facilities. Tarn Taran patients have to be rushed to Amritsar Government Medical College, while Fatehgarh Sahib and Sangrur patients have to be rushed to Patiala Government Medical College. Private hospitals with tertiary care facilities in these districts are also limited.

Border district Fazilka has the lowest CFR which is 1.86 per cent with 73 deaths out of 3,932 cases, while Mohali has a CFR of 1.90 per cent with 383 deaths out of 20,088 cases till February 24 evening.

566 new cases, 8 deaths

The fresh case count in Punjab breached 500-mark Wednesday as the state recorded 566 new Covid cases and 8 deaths.

On February 19, 20, 21 and 22, there have been 385, 358, 348 and 389 new Covid cases, respectively. On February 23, the number crossed 400-marked and 426 new cases were recorded in the state. The ministry of health and family welfare also flagged the uptick in number of fresh cases in Punjab despite the national positivity rate going down.

With 8 fresh deaths as per the bulletin, the toll in Punjab due to Covid, reached 5,786.

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