Updated: March 27, 2021 10:00:50 am
In its highest daily caseload since the Covid-19 outbreak in March last year, Punjab has recorded 3,176 fresh cases and 59 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the state bulletin on Friday. The state’s total tally has touched 2,26,059 cases till date.
This is the second Covid wave being witnessed in Punjab after the single-day highest count of 2,896 cases was reported on September 17, 2020.
Punjab government’s health advisor and state’s Covid expert committee head, Dr K K Talwar, said that this time, the infection was spreading faster than the first wave which came in September last year and the UK mutant strain found in samples from Punjab was the reason for the surge. From just 635 cases reported on March 1 to 3,176 cases on March 26, the daily case count has witnessed five-time increase in mere 25 days.
“81 per cent of 401 samples from Punjab were found having the UK strain as per the results of genome sequencing so it is a major reason behind this super surge in Punjab but we are still analysing the situation. It is very difficult to say that among all infected persons, who are carrying which strain other than the UK one. But the UK strain infects 70 per cent more people, but is not that fatal. However, less deaths in this wave compared to the first one might also be because of better healthcare services now. It is too early to say anything,” said Dr Talwar.
He said that the second wave in Punjab is expected to surge for another “two weeks at least” and maybe even longer than that.
“No timeline can be given as of now but at least for coming two weeks, the surge will continue further,” said Dr Talwar.
Meanwhile, with 59 fresh deaths Friday, the state also witnessed the highest single day toll of 2021. Earlier, 58 deaths were recorded on March 22. The highest single-day Covid toll in Punjab since the outbreak was reported on September 2 last year when 106 persons had died in a day.
With 59 fresh deaths, the toll in Punjab due to Covid has reached 6,576. As per the district wise break-up of 59 deaths, fourteen each died in Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur — the two worst-hit districts in the second wave. Five died in Ludhiana, four each in Bathinda, Amritsar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr (SBS Nagar), three in Patiala, two in Sangrur and one each in Faridkot, Gurdaspur, Ropar, SAS Nagar (Mohali) and Tarn Taran.
Total active cases in Punjab are 22,652. The maximum fresh cases on Friday were recorded in Jalandhar (494), SAS Nagar (409) and Ludhiana (395).
While 25 patients in Punjab are on ‘critical and on ventilator support’, 304 are on oxygen support.
The maximum active cases are in district Jalandhar (3,109), SAS Nagar (3,064), Ludhiana (2,568), Patiala (2,405) and Amritsar (2,313).
Meanwhile, Punjab has administered a total of 6.97 lakh doses of vaccine till Friday, including 2.87 lakh healthcare and frontline workers in phase 1 and 3.12 lakh beneficiaries from 60+ and 45+ with comorbidities group in phase 2, till Friday.
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