In the worst 24 hours for Uttar Pradesh since the outbreak of coronavirus last month, the mortality rate in the state crossed 1 per cent on Tuesday with the death of at least four patients. The state also witnessed steepest spike in number of positive cases — 102 — taking the total number of infected people to 660.
Among the four deaths on Tuesday, two were reported from Agra — both linked to a private hospital that has been sealed now — and one each from Kanpur and Moradabad, taking the total death toll in the state to nine.
Among the 102 fresh cases, Moradabad reported highest at 17, followed by 16 from Noida, and 14 from Saharanpur. The rest 55 include eight each from Lucknow and Bijnor, seven from Baghpat, six from Sambhal, five each from Shamli and Meerut, four from Agra, three each from Hapur and Sitapur, two each from Auraiya and Amroha and one each from Kanpur and Banda.
A bulletin issued by the state Directorate of Health Services said that at least 70 of the 102 fresh cases were connected to Tablighi Jamaat’s Delhi congregation, taking the total number of patients connected to the March event to at least 375 in the state.
Agra District Magistrate Prabhu Narain Singh said that both the coronavirus-positive patients, who died on Tuesday, had underlining health ailments.
“One had lung carcinoma along with kidney failure, both leading to decreased immunity and super infection. The other patient had intra-cerebral haemorrhage that required ventilator support. Henceforth, COVID-19 should not be considered as the cause of death. In such type of patients, primary disease mortality is very high. Both the patients may have died in normal circumstances. Samples were taken after their death as Paras Hospital is one major hotspot,” the DM said, adding that with the four fresh cases, the district now has 23 cases linked to Paras Hospital and their contacts, 14 linked to Fatehpur Sikri patient and five contacts of a local physician.
In Moradabad, a 49-year-old patient, who was admitted to TMU Hospital, died. His test report came positive for coronavirus later. Moradabad Chief Medical Officer Dr M C Garg said that all the fresh confirmed cases in the district, including the deceased, are linked to Tablighi Jamaat or are their contacts.
In Kanpur, which reported its first coronavirus fatality , the deceased was also linked to Tablighi Jamaat, according to District Magistrate Brahmdev Tiwari. “The deceased is the brother of the trustee of a local mosque where Tablighi Jamaat members, who had attended Delhi Markaz, stayed for few days,” said the DM, adding that eight students of the madrasa are also suspected to be infected with the virus.
According to sources, the man was admitted to a hospital on Saturday with symptoms of breathlessness, cough and fever. He died on Monday afternoon.
“The patient’s sample was sent to SGPGI in Lucknow, and on Tuesday it was confirmed that he was infected with coronavirus. He has been cremated under the laid protocols,” Kanpur Chief Medical Officer Dr Ashok Shukla said.
Senior Superintendent of Police (Kanpur City) Anant Deo said that the deceased was from a containment zone in the city and the place has been sealed and sanitised. “We are finding out all his contact history, visit history and stay history. We have also collected almost 100 samples for testing,” said the SSP.
Meanwhile, Principal Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said that almost all those who died were already suffering from serious health problems. “Those above 60 years and those with co-morbidity are more susceptible to coronavirus. We have seen that more than 75 per cent people stay completely asymptomatic and even the inception disappears over a period of time. This is why we do not need to panic but take precaution,” said Prasad.
He added that so far around 16,000 samples have been tested and 2,634 samples were tested on Monday.
Gautam Buddh Nagar reported its highest spike in 24 hours after samples on Monday, with 16 people testing positive. According to officials, while nine cases were linked to a fire safety firm, which has been the main source of coronavirus infection in the district, two were linked to Delhi Markaz gathering of Tablighi Jamaat. These are the first set of cases linked to the Jamaat in the district. More than 70 patients linked to Jamaat patients have been put under quarantine, an official said.
The number of total cases in the district went up to 84, the second highest in state, followed by Agra at 143.
“There are cases still being reported in the district that are linked to the fire safety firm. Besides two residents of a Greater Noida village were also found positive. Prima facie they have links to the Jamaat gathering. One of the new cases also includes a health professional,” said Dr AP Chaturvedi, CMO, Gautam Buddh Nagar.
According to officials, the patients linked to the fire safety firm belong to JJ cluster in Sector 5 and 8 that had been declared a cluster hotspot earlier.
One of the patients include a 34-year-old woman and her 11-year-old son from a group housing society in Sector 62. According to officials, a17-year-old girl from Eta Sector and a 25-year-old man from Gaur City in Greater Noida also tested positive.
Three of the fresh cases are linked to a Delhi-based lab technician in Sector 62, who had tested positive last week. The two cases in Greater Noida are linked a 20-year-old nurse who was working in a private hospital in Sector 62.
Thirteen patients have been cured, while another nine will be discharged on Tuesday, the officer said, adding that 58 people are undergoing treatment.
At least 50 patients have been discharged following their recovery in the state.
—With inputs from Amil Bhatnagar in Noida