As Covid-19 fatalities continue to mount in Punjab with 25 more such deaths reported Wednesday – the most in a day since the outbreak – an analysis reveals that 71 per cent of the total such fatalities have occurred in state’s five districts alone.
The same five districts also account for 62 per cent of the total positive cases reported so far. These are Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala and Sangrur, collectively accounting for 257 out of total 361 deaths and 9,299 cases of infection from the total 14,946 reported till Wednesday. Punjab has 22 districts.
Out of the 25 deaths reported Wednesday, maximum 10 were from Jalandhar, followed by nine from Ludhiana, three from Amritsar and one from Patiala. The other two deaths were reported from Gurdaspur.
From mid-March till June 7, Punjab had reported 52 Covid-19 fatalities, the number of deaths remaining in single digit per week till then. However, from June 8 onwards, there was an upswing with Covid fatalities being reported in double digits every week. In the last two weeks – July 13-19 and July 20-26, the death toll crossed half century mark each week. In the first three days of the week beginning July 27, the death toll has already reached 56.
Ludhiana has reported maximum number of deaths (79), followed by Amritsar (75), Jalandhar (49) and Sangrur and Patiala (26 each). And if data of five other districts – Gurdaspur (18 deaths), Mohali and Hoshiarpur (14 each), Pathankot (11) and Tarn Taran (10) – which have a death figures in double digits is also factored in, these 10 districts account for 90 per cent of the total Covid-19 fatalities.
As far as positive cases are concerned, since the fortnight ending May 24, when there were 221 cases in the state, the numbers witnessed a sharp spike every following fortnight. In the May 25-June 7 fortnight, 602 new cases were reported, while the figure more than doubled to 1,382 in the June 8-21 fortnight. From June 22 to July 5, the state recorded 2,519 new cases and in July 6-July 19 period, 4,084 new cases of infection were reported. In last 10 days, from July 20 to July 29 alone, there have been 4,939 new cases.
Out of the total, maximum positive cases have been from Ludhiana (2819), followed by Jalandhar (2157), Amritsar (1735), Patiala (1569) and Sangrur (1019). If the positive cases of five more districts Mohali (799), Hoshiarpur (517), Gurdaspur (490), Pathankot (353) and Tarn Taran (336) are also included, the 10 districts account for more than 78 per cent positive cases.
On Wednesday, there were 569 new cases of infection and out of these maximum were from Ludhiana (95), followed by Patiala (86), Amritsar (77) and Jalandhar (45).
Punjab’s nodal officer for Covid-19 Dr Rajesh Bhaskar attributed the high number of deaths in five districts to large number of positive cases there. “If out of such large number of positive patients even two per cent patients are critical, there is probability of death count going higher. The reason for large number of people testing positive in these districts is that all these are big cities. After Unlock was announced, the urban areas saw more movement. Majority of the migrant labourers and international returnees arrived in urban areas after the lockdown ended. With increased movement of people, there was increase in positive cases in such areas. Around June 10, among the persons testing positive, 68 per cent were from rural areas and 32 per cent from urban areas. Now, the ratio has almost reversed. Now, 65 per cent of the positive cases are from urban areas and 35 per cent from the rural areas.”
On death count, Bhaskar said government was in the process to appoint nodal officers at each of the level three Covid facilities to monitor every serious patient.
He said that maximum deaths had occurred at noted tertiary care facilities, both government and private.
Bhaskar said, “People report to hospitals very late. In 27 to 28 death cases, the patient reported to hospital in less than 24 hours. They come only when symptoms worsen. People should not wait for the symptoms to worsen and come to hospital even if they have mild fever or mild symptoms.”
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