Five deaths in a little over seven days has left a village in Sangrur district’s Takipur in shock. According to locals, four of the five deceased were from the same family, and three of them had tested positive for the virus. The fourth member, however, had Covid pneumonia in his CT scan, but had returned a negative RT- PCR test.
Locals identified the fourth patient as 75-year-old Tarlok Singh, a former sarpanch of the village, who was a diabetic and had been admitted to a private hospital after getting the virus. “His HRCT scan indicated that the lungs had been affected. He was a Covid pneumonia patient, with 30% involvement of lungs. His RT-PCR test, however, returned negative. Tarlok succumbed on May 4 and was cremated following all Covid protocols,” said Daaman Bajwa, Congress in-charge of Sunam constituency, under which Takipur falls.
On May 1, Tarlok’s daughter — who had married in Saidowal village in Nurmahal area of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar — had succumbed to Covid. “She had come to visit her ailing father in the last week of April,” confirmed Dr Anjana Gupta, civil surgeon of Sangrur. Tarlok’s sons — Harpal Singh (46) and Jaspal Singh ( 54) — died of Covid on May 7 and May 8 at a private hospital in Patiala. Gupta added, “Both Harpal and Jaspal had fever for the last one week and had been complaining of breathlessness…”
Apart from this, another woman from the same village, Sukhwant Kaur (60), was admitted to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, on April 25 after testing Covid positive. She died on April 30 due to Covid. “She was not related to Tarlok’s family. Tarlok’s daughter was from another district, so technically the number of confirmed Covid-related deaths from Takipur are three only. Tarlok was Covid negative, though he had some Covid-like symptoms,” said Ramvir Singh, DC of Sangrur while talking to The Indian Express.
On Sunday, Tarlok’s family looked in a state of shock and yet to come to terms with having lost four members in eight days. “Jaspal and Harpal’s wives and the children have all tested negative. Even their CT scans have not shown any Covid pneumonia symptoms,” said Bajwa.
Bajwa, who has recently been cured of Covid, added, “A camp will be organised in the village on Monday where mass testing via rapid antigen test (RAT) will be done. In suspected cases, RT-PCR will also be conducted.”
Meanwhile, authorities indicated that tests in villages was a challenge as most of the villagers were reluctant to come forward even after developing symptoms, like fever. They prefer self medication, officials said, only landing up in hospitals when their condition deteriorate. “Most don’t even record their oxygen levels via oximeters and rely on fever relieving medicine along with some antibiotics suggested by local RMPs,” said an official.
Elsewhere, in Amargarh tehsil’s Upoke village, around 60km from Takipur, in Sangrur, a 49-year-old woman, Rupinderjit Kaur, died of Covid on Saturday, with her 70-year-old mother-in-law Baldev Kaur, succumbing to the virus a day after . Both had been admitted in civil hospital, Malerkotla. In Nangal village, located near Upoke, 55-year-old Jarnail Singh too died of Covid-19 related complications Sunday. Ranvir Singh Dhadde, nodal officer Amargarh, confirmed the deaths.
Meanwhile, Navkiran Kaur (45), a lecturer at a government senior secondary girls school in Sangrur died of Covid-19 related complications on Sunday afternoon at a Mohali hospital. Her husband, Dr Baljit Singh, is posted as a senior medical officer at the civil hospital in Sangrur and has also tested positive for the virus.