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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Bathinda records 21% jump in new cases in 15 days, spike fails to break vaccine hesitancy

In the last 15 days (April 1 to April 15), there has been a spike of over 2,740 cases with the case count touching 15,587. It is the biggest ever fortnightly rise in cases in Bathinda since Covid outbreak last year.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar |
April 16, 2021 10:39:06 pm
Covid-19, PunjabApart from three Covid deaths in a week in this village, over 50 positive cases were reported during sampling done by the health department in two days only. (Photo: PTI/File)

Despite recording a 21 per cent rise in Covid infections in the last 15 days, Bathinda district administration is still struggling to convince people to take vaccine shots. District officials said that people are avoiding getting vaccinated due to fear of getting fever thinking that this will cost they a few days during the ongoing harvesting season.

Bathinda had registered 10,693 Covid-19 cases and 231 deaths in the first nine months of Covid-19 outbreak till December 31, 2020. In first three months of 2021, till March 31, the cases reached 12,847.

But in the last 15 days (April 1 to April 15), there has been a spike of over 2,740 cases with the case count touching 15,587. It is the biggest ever fortnightly rise in cases in Bathinda since Covid outbreak last year.

“Now we are getting around 200 cases everyday. Around 70 to 80 per cent of people are asymptomatic. There is no micro-containment zone in Bathinda so far. Rural areas are reporting more cases,” said Dr Ramandeep Singla, Covid nodal officer, Bathinda.

In the meantime, big gatherings have become a norm in Bathinda since the launch of farmers’ agitation against farm bills. Authorities said that protesters travelling between Bathinda and Delhi are contributing to the spike. Also, district is getting poor response from public for vaccination.

Bathinda had target to vaccinate 9,286 people on a daily basis. However, it could vaccinate only 1,852 per day between April 5 to April 13.

Singla said, “Ongoing Protest may be one of the reasons behind increasing number of cases. People are not wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. There is also wheat harvesting session. People fear that vaccination shots may cost them day or two in case they get fever. They are more interested in making money during harvest season. They don’t want loss of a working day in this season due to vaccine fever. There is strong rumour that everyone gets fever after vaccination.”

He added, “We try to explain people that when we give vaccine to few months old baby even then often fever comes. But adults are opposing vaccination. This is the reason that we are not getting kind of response according to efforts we are putting in.”

District Immunisation Officer Dr Minakshi said, “People were more serious about Covid precautions during first wave. But it is not true for the second wave. Now, people are not bothering about masks or other precautions. It is not good trend.”

A doctor playing important role in Covid-19 vaccination drive has also tested positive in Bathinda.

“I had taken both vaccine shots. I am experiencing symptoms and tested positive. But I would have been suffering more if I had not taken the vaccine. People should take vaccination,” said the doctor, who did not wish to be named.

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