With a steady rise in the number of novel coronavirus cases in Lucknow in the past fortnight, concerns are being raised over the spread of the virus in the state capital as more and more new areas are being included in the containment zone list that has now ballooned to nearly 100. What has added to the growing concern among health and administrative officials is security personnel constitute a bulk of new infections.
On Thursday, at least eight policemen on escort duty of Lucknow’s Joint Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Naveen Arora tested positive. A day ago, 25 personnel of PAC ( Provincial Armed Constabulary) had tested positive, taking the total number of Covid positive PAC members to 88 in Lucknow alone.
Lucknow’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Narendra Agarwal said that the capital alone constitutes nearly half of the 300-odd security personnel from Government Railway Police (GRP), Railway Protection Force (RPF) and local police who have been infected with coronavirus.
“Around 62 GRP personnel were found positive of which 58 were deployed at Charbagh railway station. Out of them, almost 40 have recovered. If we consider Lucknow police, then there were no cases till today when members of the JCP’s escort team tested positive. Before today, Meerut, Kanpur city, Ghaziabad and Varanasi had most of the infected policemen and security personnel,” said Abhay Nath Tripathi, the public relations officer of the state Director General of Police.
Till date, Tripathi said, at least four policemen have died of coronavirus in the state.
Another group of people getting infected are mediapersons. At least six employees of a news channel tested positive on Thursday alone.
Since the easing of lockdown on June 1, Lucknow has seen a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases. In 25 days of June, the capital has added over 650 new cases – nearly 68% of its caseload. The daily new cases, which used to be in single digit in the first week of June, has now gone up to as high as 85 on Wednesday. The seven-day rolling daily average of new cases has jumped almost four times – from 10.86 on June 7 to 38 on June 25.
As testing is being ramped up in Lucknow and 10 other districts with the introduction of rapid antigen testing, the numbers are likely to increase further rapidly. On Thursday, the district had 401 active cases of infection – third highest in the state after Noida and Ghaziabad.
However, the silver lining has been the low mortality rate. Till Thursday, 14 Covid-19 patients have died in the capital with a mortality rate of 1.45%, much below the state’s average rate of 3%.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines