After the first COVID-19 patient was reported on Wednesday, six more patients have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Tricity, taking the total number to seven. Three of the five who tested positive on Friday are the first patient’s mother, brother and cook. The patient’s father, who is a diabetic, has tested negative for the disease.
Four more suspected cases tested negative and six suspected cases, including four from the Tricity, have been admitted to three isolation wards in Chandigarh.
New positive cases
Apart from the three positive patients who were in contact with the first patient from Sector 21, a 26-year-old woman from Sector 19 in Chandigarh who has a travel history to the UK, and a 69-year-old female from Mohali who had also travelled back from the UK were tested positive for the disease. The 26-year-old woman from Chandigarh had landed at the Delhi Airport from London on March 18 and was immediately sent to the isolation ward at PGIMER after reaching Chandigarh. The woman was in contact with her father, mother and brother who are currently asymptomatic and have been quarantined at their home in Sector 19.
Panchkula got its first positive case late Friday as the 40-year-old who had come in direct contact with the first patient, tested positive. The 40-year-old, a resident of Kharak Mangoli of Old Panchkula, had been traced by Panchkula authorities as she had made direct contact with the first positive case of Chandigarh.
However, her 17-year-old son has tested negative, along with other two that had been put in isolation ward of Civil Hospital in Sector 6, Panchkula.
According to officials, the test report of the confirmed case came late at night. “She had reportedly given the positive case a massage,” said a health care official.
While the positive case has been put in a separate isolation ward, two others who have tested negative were also kept in isolation wards itself. The fourth case, a 21-year-old with travel history to Dharamshala, who ran away late Thursday night from hospital, has not been traced by the police yet.
Panchkula got four new persons that may have contracted the novel coronavirus on Friday. All four have recent travel history and have presented themselves with symptoms. Their samples have been sent to PGIMER and reports are expected to be in on Saturday. Two of them are a couple who recently came back from the USA and developed symptoms on Friday, almost seven days after their return.
Primary contacts of first positive patient
Although the mother of the first positive case from Sector 21 was already in the isolation ward of Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32, the patient’s father and brother were also taken into isolation around 11 on Friday morning. However, the father was tested negative and the brother was placed in the isolation ward after testing positive for the disease. All the patients are currently in a stable condition.
The driver who was in contact with the family has also tested negative for the disease, and so have three neighbours of the family who were admitted to the GMCH-32 isolation ward. The gardener associated with the patient and his family have been home quarantined, so have been a beautician and her family in Sector 20. The young girl had visited her parlour in Sector 20 on Tuesday before being admitted to the hospital on Wednesday. As for the maid who worked at the family’s house in Sector 21, the authorities have not disclosed as to whether she has been quarantined or tested or has absconded.
New suspected cases
Sources confirm that three suspected cases in isolation ward at PGIMER, two at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16 (GMSH-16) and one in GMCH-32, taking the total of suspected cases to six, have been isolated and tested in the three dedicated wards in the city. At least four of these patients are from the Tricity — a young female from Chandigarh and a middle-aged male from Mohali admitted to GMSH-16, a young male resident of Mohali and another young male from Chandigarh admitted to PGIMER. Samples for all have been sent to the PGIMER testing laboratories.
Furthermore, a few suspected family members of patients who had been identified by the authorities had absconded from their house in Sector 37 and allegedly fled to Faridkot. “This family was yet to be screened. The team had gone there to see whether they needed to be home quarantined or screened for the disease, but they had absconded even before the team reached,” said the UT director, public relations.
A total of 34 new passengers were put under surveillance on Friday, taking the total number of passengers under surveillance to 398.
Preparations for pandemic
At GMCH-32, the hospital which hosts the majority of the COVID-19 patients as of Friday night, has been sanitising and disinfecting all surfaces regularly. Footfall has also decreased since non-essential OPD services were closed in the UT. However, a source from the hospital said there are not enough masks in the hospital to ensure that each and every healthcare worker apart from doctors and nurses at the hospital has access to a mask. “Furthermore, you have to keep changing the mask every six hours ideally for it to be effective, but we don’t have enough supply to sustain that at all,” the source said.
PGIMER director Jagat Ram claims that they have enough beds to ensure that the hospital is prepared for more suspected and positive cases of COVID-19. “We can increase the beds up to 100 in the New OPD block if need be and we have up to eight ventilators there. Plus, the Red Cross sarai has been identified by the UT as an isolation ward. We also hope that footfall will subsequently decrease after the closure of non-essential OPD services,” the director said.
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