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Central team of doctors reaches Punjab to monitor new UK variant, deaths

State doctors said 78 per cent of the Covid deaths that have occurred in Punjab during the second wave were due to delay in admitting the patients in hospitals.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
April 9, 2021 1:07:22 am
market wears deserted look during a night curfew, imposed by authorities to curb the spread of coronavirus in country, in Jalandhar, Thursday, April 8, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Teams of doctors deputed by the central government reached various districts of Punjab Thursday, at a time when the state, particularly the Doaba region, continues to report a spike in Covid cases. The teams will study the behaviour of the new UK variant, which is said to be responsible for the surge.

Seventy five per cent samples taken for genome sequencing were related to the new UK variant, which is highly infectious.

State doctors said 78 per cent of the Covid deaths that have occurred in Punjab during the second wave were due to delay in admitting the patients in hospitals.

In Hoshiarpur, 50 per cent deaths that took place in March happened within 24 hours after the patient reaching the hospital. The remaining 50 per cent deaths took place within 72 hours or above.

On Thursday, a team of two doctors from the Centre reached Hoshiarpur district to collect data. Three more teams will be visiting the remaining three districts — Jalandhar, Nawanshahr and Kapurthala — of Doaba region starting Friday.

In March, 963 deaths took place in the state, a 16.5 per cent increase in deaths within a one-month period while in Doaba region, during the same period, the number of deaths have recorded an increase by 18.5 per cent. In the first week of April — 1st to 7th — the number of Covid deaths increased by 5.1 per cent in the state and in Doaba it has increased 5.96 per cent. “Because of this the centre teams are visiting Doaba region,” said a senior doctor.

Dr Aparna Pandey and Dr Ashok reached Hoshiarpur Thursday and had a meeting with district officials including deputy commissioner, civil surgeon and others. The team had visited containment zones as well as had information about the cases and death rate. “The team will stay for three days and after making the analysis it will give suggestions that what more steps could be added to control the surge in the Covid cases,” said Deputy Commissioner (DC) Hoshiarpur, Apneet Raiyat, adding that the main reason behind the deaths in the district are late referral of patients to the hospital.

“In March, 50 per cent deaths took place due to late referral to the hospital as 50 per cent patients had died within 24 hours after reaching the hospital and all these patients were above 60 with co-morbidities while remaining 50 per cent had died within 72 hours or little over 72 hours,” he said.

“People must report the serious cases immediately to the hospital rather than waiting for improvement at home,” the DC further said.

Contact tracing

The team members said people were not following norms, directed district officials to be strict and implement norms, told them to give more emphasis to contact tracing.

It also suggested monitoring of home isolation and self quarantined persons.

Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, state’s Covid-19 nodal officer, said the new UK variant is highly infectious and people must understand that they cannot be safe without following the norms of protection against the pandemic. He said 78 per cent patients with severe symptoms had died because they came to hospital very late. “Laxity on the part of patients as well as people in general will affect the pandemic situation badly in the state,” he said.

About the new variant, he said that it also requires the same precautions. He said that in the first wave, Punjab’s peak was at 2,896 in a single day. In the second wave, the peak reached 3,184 cases in a day and the state had crossed the peak of the first wave five times during the second wave.

Gender-wise distribution of Covid-19 deaths revealed that case fatality rate (CFR) among males is 2.5 per cent and among femals it is 2.3 per cent.

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