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Panchkula crosses 2,000-mark to enter top 5 districts of state with most active cases

Panchkula, which had taken a lead in sampling across Haryana and was being touted as the district with the best Covid management across the state and Tricty, now grapples to take hold of the increasing cases.

Written by Pallavi Singhal | Panchkula | August 30, 2020 2:25:14 am
Coronavirus cases, Covid death, Chandigarh news, Punjab news, Indian express newsOn September 26, three more volunteers at the PGIMER were given the dose of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine Covishield and ten more people were screened. (Representational)

With positive cases crossing 2,000-mark and active cases reaching 790, Panchkula now figures among top five districts of the state, standing fourth in terms of active cases.

Panchkula, which had taken a lead in sampling across Haryana and was being touted as the district with the best Covid management across the state and Tricty, now grapples to take hold of the increasing cases. As per the district administration records, the active cases stood at 790 on Saturday.

A total of 2,075 cases have been tested positive in the district with an added 495 of other districts testing positive in Panchkula. These also included employees of Haryana administration and ministers of the state, including the CM and his staff members.

The rise in number of active cases in the district may soon become problematic as the district possesses a total of 1,100 beds only. Even though several remain asymptomatic and opt for home isolation, if the cases are not staggered and keep rising at the same rate, the district may run out of beds soon.

The district is capable of managing 1,000 cases every 10 days, a health official had told The Indian Express.

1,600 cases in August but doubling rate stable

The progression of cases has remained steady, as per expectations of the Panchkula health department.

It has taken the district a total of 19 days to double the cases from 1,000 on August 10 to crossing 2,000 on August 29. The authorities had estimated a doubling rate of 19.2 days on August 10.

The increase in doubling rate has remained consistent as the doubling rate which stood at 10 days on July 30, stood at 19.2 on August 10 and now at 19.7 on Saturday. “We expect the doubling rate will keep on improving further as we progress with lesser cases,” says the Deputy Civil Surgeon of Panchkula, Dr Saroj Aggarwal.

Nonetheless, the increase in number of cases has remained crucial and precipitous with positive cases a day going as high as 174 from the district. The doubling rate of the district had stood at 13.2 last week when a steep surge in cases was being witnessed.

The district has reported almost 1,600 cases in August itself. While total cases as of July 31 stood at 500, they now stand at 2,075. The district has consistently been reporting a steady rise in number of cases since July.

A huge chunk of almost 2,000 cases have been reported in July and August. The remaining 76 reports were recorded over months of March, April, May and June. Panchkula had only reported 26 positive cases on June 1, when unlock phase I was initiated.

Positivity rate doubled— now at 8.03 per cent

Panchkula’s positivity rate seeing another rapid rise has increased from 4.3 per cent on August 10 (when it crossed 1,000 cases) to now stand at 8.03 per cent.

Positivity rate is the percentage of people who test positive for the virus of total number of persons who have been tested overall by the district.

The positivity rate stood at 2.82 per cent on June 30, which increased by three quarters to 4.3 per cent on August 9 and further doubled by August-end.

The rise had earlier remained slow — from one per cent in April coming down to 0.29 per cent in May — seeing a jump in June to 2.08 per cent, settling at 2.82 per cent in July, rising by 75 per cent to reach 4.3 per cent on August 10 and to 8.03 per cent on Saturday.

P’kula sampling highest per lakh maximum

Taking a lead over its counterparts in the Tricity, Mohali and Chandigarh, and standing far above the total number of samples collected per lakh population in Haryana, Panchkula has tested 5,721 people per lakh of its population which stands at 5.61 lakh.

Panchkula has tested an approximate 32,000 people so far.

Mohali, on the other hand, with a population of 10 lakh has tested an approximate 34,000 people. Its sampling per lakh population stands at 3,400.

The UT, collecting the least amount of samples (30,000) with highest population of 10.6 lakh, has a sampling rate of only 2,833 people per lakh population. The number is one of the lowest among UTs in India.

Haryana overall has a sampling rate of 4,236 people per lakh of its 2.54 crore of population.

The authorities have worked hard to increase testing in the district. It has adopted various aggressive testing strategies and set up almost 19 sampling centres. It has also increased its sampling capacity slowly and steadily from sending samples to PGI in Chandigarh to creating its own lab from scratch within no time in May. The lab which initially tested 100 people, is now equipped to conduct 600 tests a day.

The district has also used IGG ELISA tests as well as Rapid Antigen Tests to full use as and when required in hotspots and other crucial areas. Random sampling conducted across red zones, especially amid the vulnerable groups, has been the prime reason for such high testing rates.

Panchkula has adopted a walk-in sampling strategy wherein any person can reach sampling centre of the district and get tested even if he/she has no symptoms.

16 deaths within 19 days, authorities mum

The increasing number of Covid-19 deaths in Panchkula has remained worrisome. The district which had recorded three Covid deaths by August 10, has a total of 19 Covid deaths.

The deaths, say officials, are a direct result of the surge in cases. “Surge in deaths is always noticed when infections are on the rise. Our prime objective right now is to stop these deaths. Early detection is the only way to effectively put an end to such preventable fatalities,” Dr Aggarwal says.

The administration has been requesting people, especially the vulnerable groups, to come forward at the onset of symptoms and get themselves tested. A delay of barely two-three days can result in dire consequences for such people. While most who have passed away had comorbidities and remained critical even at the time of admission, several who had remained in hospital for long have also been among those who have succumbed to Covid.

The district authorities have remained mum on the increasing number of deaths. Detailed information of occurrence of deaths and information regarding the conditions surrounding such deaths have increasingly been difficult to avail.

2 deaths, 102 new cases today

Panchkula on Saturday reported two new Covid deaths, taking total death toll to 19 and 102 more positive cases.

The deaths recorded on Saturday included a 71-year-old man, a resident of Sector 12A, who was seeking treatment for chronic kidney disease at Fortis hospital in Mohali and was diabetic. He had passed away on Friday.

Another to have passed away was an 82-year-old man, a resident of Sector 4, who was admitted to the Civil Hospital of Panchkula and was diabetic and had been in a critical condition since his admission, health authorities say. While 96 of these cases hailed from Panchkula, six hailed from other districts. At least three persons who tested positive were also being traced by the district administration.

Reporting a consistent rise in cases from rural areas of the district, a total of 52 tested positive. As many as 20 from Pinjore, 26 from Kalka, two from Raipurrani, one from Hangola and three from Surajpur were among the cases which tested positive from rural areas on Saturday.

As many as 1,266 people have been cured and discharged in Panchkula.

While only Block C had been converted into Covid ward, looking at the recent spike in numbers, the health authorities have decided to convert D Block of the Civil Hospital into a Covid care centre as well. D Block will add a total of 48 beds to the hospital, which already has 113 beds in C ward.

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