Even though Covid-19 cases recorded in Panchkula have doubled — from 561 to 1,001 — in the last 10 days, the district’s doubling rate has improved from 9.9 to 19.2 days. Authorities in a presentation submitted to Niti Ayog in the last week of July had estimated a doubling rate of 9.9 days.
Health officials said the district has ample space to manage patients. “We have almost 1,100 beds and most cases reported have remained asymptomatic. Many have opted for home isolation. We can easily manage 1,000 cases every 10 days,” said Dr Saroj Aggarwal, deputy civil surgeon of Panchkula.
The health department said it is expecting the doubling rate to improve further as numbers increase. “It all depends upon testing. If we keep testing aggressively, the doubling rate shall rise,” said Panchkula CMO Dr Jasjeet Kaur.
Meanwhile, cases in the past 10 days increased 100 per cent from 500 on July 31 to 1000 on August 10. The district had gained a steep edge with rising cases in July. In the past 20 weeks (counted from April 1), the last five have remained most crucial.
As many as 925 cases were reported within July and the first 10 days of August itself. The remaining 76 reports were recorded over months of March, April, May and June. Panchkula had only reported 26 positive cases on June 1.
1,200 samples in two days
Aggressive sampling may be attributed as the prime reason for detection of cases in the district. As the sampling capacity of the Panchkula lab increased, the district witnessed collection of more than 1200 samples between August 8 and 9.
The district ramped up its testing in response to the increasing numbers. Testing per lakh population has remained highest in the Tricity, standing at 3,860 per lakh population. Panchkula, which started testing 74 cases a week in week 1 of April, conducted almost 2,800 tests in the last week of July and approximately 3,800 in the first 10 days of August. An approximate 23,100 tests have been conducted by Panchkula.
Adopting an aggressive sampling strategy, Panchkula sampled all domestic passengers travelling by air, train or road who entered the city. As many as 3,185 were sampled in this phase of whom, as many as 87 tested positive.
Further, government employees of Panchkula were tested using IGG ELISA tests to ascertain spread and stopping it from spreading further. Sero surveillance in congested areas was also carried out to assess community spread in the district.
Panchkula also sampled high risk groups of persons including pregnant women, diabetics and people with co-morbidities in rural areas and slums. Extensive sampling of all contacts of positive persons is done by the district. Haryana stands at a doubling rate of 42.8 days as of Monday.
Positivity rate up by 75 %
Panchkula’s positivity rate has meanwhile seen a rapid rise in August. The positivity rate stood at 2.82 percent as on June 30, which increased by three quarters to 4.3 per cent on August 9.
The rise had earlier remained slow — from one percent in April coming down to 0.29 percent in May — seeing a jump in June to 2.08 per cent settling at 2.82 per cent in July and now standing and rising at 4.3 per cent.
62 new cases
With 62 new Covid cases, Panchkula on Monday crossed the 1000-mark to reach 1001.
The fresh cases include 12 from Sector 9, 10 from Sector 10, 4 each from Sector 15 and Sector 20, three each from MDC Sector 5, Sector 25.
Other areas like Kalka, Pinjore, Dharampur, village Natwal, village Mouli, village Hangoli, Ashiana, Sector 20, village Chikkan, Sector 1 and Sector 2 also reported new Covid cases.
As many as six were also reported from outside the district and added to ‘other districts’ tally of Panchkula.
Total cases from outside districts stood at 170. As many as 408 cases remain active in Panchkula with the discharge of 590 persons. The district has also recorded three deaths.
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