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Friday, January 28, 2022

UT scales Mt 1K; records 1,114 new infections – most since last peak of 895

One death in Sector 28 pushes toll to 1,084; city has 4,808 active cases

Written by Parul | Chandigarh |
January 13, 2022 3:00:04 am
The positivity rate on Wednesday was 21.38 per cent.

THE surge of new cases continues, with 1,114 new Covid cases reported on January 12 (RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen), taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases in the UT to 71,303. The total number of active cases is 4,808 and deaths due to Covid are 1084, with one death reported Wednesday. The positivity rate today is 21.38 per cent, with 601 men and 513 women testing positive. The highest number of cases, 90 were reported from Sector 15, followed by Mani Majra, which reported 83 cases. The total number of samples tested in the last 24 hours is 5,211 and total recoveries today are 229. The total number of vaccinations today is 2,388.

Covid death

An 87-year-old Covid positive female resident of Sector 28, a case of Type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and hypothyroidism died at GMCH-32. She had developed urosepsis with multi-organ dysfunction syndrome and was fully vaccinated for Covid.

Hospitalisation

At PGI, 169 oxygen beds are occupied and 21 out of 24 ventilator beds are occupied. At GMCH-32, 28 oxygen beds and two ventilator beds are occupied. At GMSH-16, 41 oxygen beds are occupied and two ventilator beds are occupied.

‘The curve is steep, not gradual’

The high surge in cases, as recorded in the last one week and today was expected, considering the high transmissibility of the virus, said Prof Rakesh Kochhar, former Head of Department Gastroenterology PGI. “In line with the spread of Omicron, the curve is steep, and not gradual, as we have seen in England, Europe, South Africa. A sizeable number is not vaccinated, has missed the second dose, and then a large number of people with lower immunity, comorbidities, who are likely to get seriously sick, even with Omicron. In winter, people getting influenza, especially older people and those who are immunocompromised, develop pneumonia and get serious. Any virus when it enters the body weakens it. Viral infection, along with bacterial infection, can lead to serious disease and mortality. People with lung disease, even if they get influenza, may develop lung issues. Omicron weakens your body, can affect the lungs, or make your body prone to disease. If the virus is infecting 10 times more people, and even if it is half as severe as Delta, it will finally add up to more infections, diseases, and serious conditions for the elderly and those with co-morbidities. We have to wear surgical or N-95 masks, and cover our mouth and nose properly,” he said.

‘We are amidst the third wave’

Our country, said Dr Amit Kumar Mandal, Director, Pulmonology, Sleep and Critical Care, Fortis Hospital Mohali, has more than 21 per cent as elderly and a significant number with comorbidities, and these are the patients likely to have a severe course of the disease or an unpredictable course and get hospitalised. He added that cases were bound to increase after a critical mass level of positivity (5 per cent) is attained and that’s what is being witnessed now, with more states reporting more cases – the positivity rate is at 11 per cent today across the country. Mumbai and Delhi have positivity of more than 20 per cent. “We have now started receiving serious cases with lung involvement with oxygen requirement. This can explain the sudden increase in the Tricity numbers today. This trend would continue for the next few weeks. We are amidst the third wave, and in a populous country like ours, the spread would be enormous and the ferocious spike was expected due to the property of Omicron being highly infectious,” said Dr Mandal.

‘This wave will involve more people’

Prof Jagat Ram, former director, PGI, says that even in the second wave, we had not crossed the 900 number, and the cases may rise even more. “It is a highly infectious virus, and so the spread is more, and it will involve more people. It is a wrong narrative that the virus is mild, and will not lead to serious disease. The mortality should not be underestimated and we should not take the situation casually. Omicron is extremely infectious and when five times more people will be infected, there will be an increase in mortality. People with co-morbidities and the elderly will be seriously affected, and the suffering of non-Covid patients has increased.

People going to the Emergency in hospitals may be infected, and with HCWs getting rapidly infected may lead to a situation which can be tough to tackle, as there will be not enough staff to take care of ICUs, emergency wards, OPDs. Our greatest weapon is a mask and we need to take precautions by observing Covid appropriate behaviour,” said Prof Ram.

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