Chandigarh reported its first Covid death in more than two months on Saturday evening, with a 35-year-old woman, a resident of Bapu Dham Colony, passing away at GMSH-16 at around 8.15 pm. The UT had last recorded a Covid death on October 5 this year.
As per reports, the 35-year-old was admitted to GMSH-16 on December 7 as a case of bilateral pneumonitis and was not vaccinated for Covid.
Experts said that the last couple of weeks have seen a fluctuation in the number of Covid-19 cases in Chandigarh, with a sharp increase noticed on Saturday, as 17 new cases being reported. The number of active cases has risen to 85. The total tally of Covid cases in the UT as on Saturday was 65679, and the total deaths due to the virus was 1077. The total number of samples tested in the last 24 hours was 1434 and total recoveries are 64534. The total number of Covid vaccines administered on Saturday was 3000.
“No one can say if this is the start of the third wave, but yes, we have seen a rise in cases in the last two weeks, and also fluctuations. This is precisely why we are monitoring the situation closely, keeping a watch on areas that have a high density of population, including Bapu Dham, and testing family members and close contacts of a positive case. We are tracing as many as 150 people in the neighbourhood to detect asymptomatic and silent cases. We have been requesting people to isolate themselves to prevent the spread of infection. In many cases, there is not enough room for a patient to isolate. So that’s why we have now opened a Covid Care Centre in Bal Bhawan in Sector 23, so that a patient can be isolated and also be taken care of there. This is also an appeal to people to spread rumours in the community, like health care officials forcing Covid patients to get admitted in a hospital or Covid centre and no facilities being provided to patients. We all know that all patients are taken care of and provided with the best facilities possible. Now is the time to be vigilant, follow Covid appropriate behaviour and get vaccinated to prevent a spread at any cost in the community,” explained Dr Suman Singh, Director, Health Services.
Travellers from high-risk countries, added Dr Singh, were being closely monitored, with the health department checking the Air Suvidha portal to track the movement of such people to UT. “Those who test negative after an RT-PCR in Delhi are allowed to travel to Chandigarh, and the department, along with the Chandigarh civic body and police monitor their quarantine period of seven days here, after which another test is done. If that test is negative, then the person is asked to self-quarantine for another week. Sampling is the only way to check community spread, so we have increased testing across the city, and are also doing sampling in OPDs, to check asymptomatic cases,” added Dr. Singh.
The UT has so far covered 81.99 per cent of its target population with two doses of the vaccine, with Dr. Singh saying that health workers are now going door-to-door across the city to reach out to those who have not taken their second dose, and the response has been very encouraging.
“We urge people to not delay their vaccination, as it checks the spread of infection and prevents deaths,” she added. Omicron, said Dr Zafar Ahmed, is expected to be a virulent strain meaning rapid potential of spreading. “We are seeing cases gradually rising up across the country and soon we may have larger numbers. Therefore, we should be back to the basics of protection —that is use of masks, social distancing and frequent hand sanitisation. We must avoid crowding and tight gatherings.”