Updated: July 15, 2022 9:36:54 am
With as many as 1,410 new cases and 13 deaths in 11 days (from June 18-June 28), Covid numbers are once again rising in the state. While hospital admissions are still on the lower side, positivity rate which was 0.82% on June 18 has increased to 1.81% as on June 28. Of the 13 deaths, seven are from Ludhiana alone. Though the health authorities have stated that they are well prepared for the influx of patients, mortality rate has become a cause of concern if we look at the figures.
In April, four Covid deaths had taken place while 505 people tested positive and in May, the number of deaths were only two but 774 new Covid cases were reported. However, from June 1- June 28, 18 deaths have taken place out of which 13 alone were in the past 11 days.
On June 1, only 14 new cases had been reported and active cases on that day were 124. A total of 10,000 tests were conducted on that day and the positivity rate was 0.14. On June 15, however, the number of positive cases increased to 74 with no death on that day. Positivity rate on June 15 had increased to 1.04%. However, only 7,128 samples were tested on that day and the active patients had increased to 378. Daily cases touched three digit on June 17 when 104 patients tested positive. On June 18 and 19 and 20, daily cases were 92, 102 and 81, respectively.
The highest number of cases since April 2, 2022 was reported on June 28 (202) with one death from Ludhiana.
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As on June 28, a total of 24 patients are on oxygen support in different hospitals of Punjab while 10 are in level 3 facility (ICU) and one patient is on ventilator. However, no patient was on oxygen support or in ICU or even in ventilator as on June 1 while on June 18, a total of 11 patients were on oxygen support, two in ICU and none on ventilator support.
The number of daily tests ranged between 10,000 and 11,000. Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, nodal officer for Covid-19, Punjab, said, “Looking at the positivity rate, we are now planning to increase daily testing. If the positivity rate increases, testing will be further enhanced.”
He added that hospitalisation is very low and patients are coming with mild symptoms of Covid such as sore throat, fever, body ache. “The department is well prepared to handle the influx of patients if cases increase,” he said, adding that the number of level 2 (oxygen supply beds) and level 3 (ICU with ventilator support beds) have been increased for Covid patients.
Dr Bhaskar added, “During the second and the third wave, we had earmarked 11,000 beds in both private as well as government hospitals, which have now been increased to 14,518 as 3,518 beds solely have been earmarked in government hospitals. For level 3 patients, we have earmarked 145 more beds to the existing number of 3,000. One liquid medical oxygen storage plant is in every district for storage of oxygen while 87 pressure swing adsorption (PSA) oxygen generating plants are present in the entire state.”
Although the beds have been earmarked for Covid patients, but since there is less hospitalisation, these beds are being used for regular patients. Dr Bhaskar said that if patients start increasing, the beds will be allocated for Covid patients.
Meanwhile, till June 28, 98% of the eligible population were administered the first dose of the vaccine while 83%
are fully vaccinated in the state. The booster dose has been administered to only 7.35 lakh people. “In government hospitals, booster doses are given free of cost to senior citizens but only 60% of eligible seniors have got themselves inoculated,” Dr Bhaskar said.
Dr Bishav Mohan, professor of cardiology at Dyanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) and convenor of Covid 19 management update in Punjab, said, “Cases in the region are increasing and geographically it is almost following previous trend. Though now the virus is more infectious and less virulent, post viral myelgia body aches are quite prolonged. Data shows that previous strains have caused long-term effects on various systems of the body, including neurological.”
He added that wearing masks is still effective, early self isolation and less medication is advisable. “Patient should keep themselves hydrated and avoid antibiotics and steroids,” he added.
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