Continuing to have the highest Covid fatality rate (CFR) of 3.2 per cent as compared to national average of around one per cent, Punjab has come up with a protocol for management of Covid-19 patients with co-morborties like diabetes, high blood presssure and heart disease.
As per the official statistics, Punjab has the highest CFR of 3.2 per cent as compared to Maharashtra (2.6 per cent), Delhi (1.7 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (1.4 per cent), Haryana (1.1 per cent), Rajasthan (0.9 per cent) and Kerala (0.4 per cent). Punjab Health Secretary Hussan Lal said that as per experts in medical field “secondary infections due to co-morbid conditions were responsible for high Covid fatality rate”.
“We have created a specific protocol for management of Covid patients with co-morbid conditions. There is standrad treatment file for diabetic, hypertensive and for other co-morbid conditions,” Lal said, adding that “we have issued instructions how to manage different types of co-morbidities and how to record the vitals of patients with co-morbidities”.
Lal said a detailed death audit was being conducted to take measures to check the fatality rate. He also attributed the high fatality rate to Covid patients approaching late for treatment. He said that as per the official data, nearly 8 per cent Covid patients were admitted to level 3 facilities after they approached health authorities within 48 hours of symptoms, around 50 per cent between two and eight days of showing symptoms and around 40 per cent after eight days of the symptoms.
As of January 3, Punjab had recorded 5,376 Covid deaths. A total of 1.67 lakh people had tested positive for the infection and out of those, 1.58 lakh had recovered, translating into a recovery rate of 95 per cent as compared to national average of 96 per cent. There were 3,358 active cases in the state, translating into 2 per cent of the active cases.
As of January 3, Punjab had 5,574 cases per million of population as compared to national average of 7,545 cases per million. The state recorded 179 Covid deaths per million as compared to national average of 111 deaths per million.
In a circular to the deputy commissioners and civil surgeons across the state, the Punjab health and family welfare department in the last week of December 2020 directed that if a patient is referred to level 3 facility, a referral form should be filled with details of the patient’s conditions for information to the doctor on duty where the patient was being referred and that “regular feedback should be taken about the referred patient from the doctor concerned”.
The number of persons testing positive for Covid-19, and the positivity rate, came down significantly in December. As per the state’s nodal officer for Covid-19 Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, on average, there were about 350 cases per day in December as compared to 2,500 cases per day when the pandemic peaked in the state in September.
Dr Bhaskar said, “The weekly positivity rate which touched 9 per cent during peak has of late come down to 1.5 per cent.” The overall positivity rate so far, he said, was around 4.2 per cent.