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Covid cases rise by 3.5 times in a month in Panchkula, 10-fold rise in deaths

Even when the district witnessed it first peak, it had reported a number half than that reported in April. A total of 5,179 people had tested positive in September averaging to 172.6 each day.

Written by Pallavi Singhal | Panchkula |
May 4, 2021 9:11:54 am
Huge rush for get the jab of COVID vaccine at Dr Ambedkar Institute of Medical Sciences in sector 57 S.A.S Nagar on Sunday, May 02 2021. Express photo by Jasbir Malhi

Panchkula reported twice the number of cases in April as compared to September last year, when the district was witnessing its first peak. The huge surge has also come in with rising positivity rate in the district.

Even when the district witnessed it first peak, it had reported a number half than that reported in April. A total of 5,179 people had tested positive in September averaging to 172.6 each day. In April this year, Panchkula had a total of 11,352 cases, averaging to as many as 378 testing positive each day. The average number of cases per day had come down to its lowest in February and stood at 14 persons each day with a total of 389 cases reported in the whole month.

Cases increased by 3.5 times in April

The cases in April increased by 3.5 times as compared to the number of cases reported in March. While 3,241 cases were reported in Panchkula district in the month of March, as many as 11,352 were reported in April. In the first two weeks of April, the district had reported 3,511 cases, whereas, it had taken the district a whole month to report a lesser number- 3,241 cases in March. The count includes patient who do not reside in Panchkula but were sampled here.

Positivity rate up by 10 per cent as compared to March

As per an assessment of the daily district health bulletins, the positivity rate in Panchkula grew by more than 10 per cent in April as compared to March. An average positivity rate of 9 per cent was reported in the month of March, while the number significantly grew to report a positivity rate of 19.5 percent in April.

The positivity rate has further recorded a steep growth in the last week, when the percentage of those positive oscillated between 25 to 34 per cent. The positivity rate on several days even surpassed records set by Delhi- the ground zero of deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

In September last year, a positivity rate of 25 per cent had been witnessed in the district. While the positivity rates comparatively remained low in April, it has been steadily increasing. Moreover, the district is also yet to witness its second peak, experts say.

Panchkula sampled 1,950 persons per day

While the positive cases have increased by 3.5 times and positivity rate by 10 per cent, the district’s sampling only rose by 1.5 times as compared to that in March.

Rising to its maximum sampling capacity, it tested a total of 1950 samples a day. The number rose from an average 1,160 persons tested in March per day.

The higher positivity rate has also been termed as a direct consequence of low sampling numbers. As per officials of the health department, sampling in Panchkula has hit a snag, since the only lab Panchkula built since the onset of the pandemic can only process a maximum of 1,600 samples a day. Even with the lab functioning round-the-clock, the district is only capable of processing almost 1,600 samples.

Meanwhile, the per day numbers include those tested at private testing centres as well. However, Panchkula has shut down several of its sampling centres across the district. A majority of samples are now collected at Civil Hospital in Sector 6 of Panchkula.

Beds at full occupancy

Panchkula currently has a total of 256 beds reserved for Covid patients in four Covid hospitals, including Civil Hospital Panchkula and three private hospitals: Ojas Hospital, Paras Hospital and Alchemist Hospital. However, the district has completely run out of covid care beds.

A long queue awaits those in need of critical covid care as the mere 74 beds with ventilators/bipap- demarcated for Covid patients at four hospitals remain full.

Around 176 oxygen supported beds across Panchkula too remain fully occupied as the city caters to Covid cases from across Punjab, Chandigarh and parts of Haryana.

Growing number of deaths

As per the official district bulletin, the number of deaths between March and April saw a 10-fold rise, as the number increased from five Covid-related deaths in March to 54 in April. The numbers officially reported though have been contested by those at present at the cremation grounds of Panchkula, who state that 15 were cremated as per Covid protocol in March and almost 200 in April.

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