All the districts that have reported more cases during this period have a population density in the range of 978 to 469 per square kilometre as per Census 2011. And with the population of the state increasing by 14% in the last decade, the density of population of these districts is also expected to have gone up since the 2011 Census.
From May 25 to June 1, a total of 222 fresh cases came up in Punjab, of which 153 were from heavily populated districts. A total of 57 cases were reported in Amritsar alone, the second-most populated district of the state. The district also accounted for the highest active cases (69) in the state.
Last month, Amritsar figured among 30 municipal areas spread in 12 states which had contributed over 70% of total positive cases in the country.
Amritsar, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur see drop in doubling rate of infection
The officials of the state health department and municipal corporation were briefed by the health ministry about precautions and steps required to curb spread of the virus. In Jalandhar, 26 people got infected during the period while as many as 22 and 21 cases cropped up in Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana, respectively.
The doubling rate of Amritsar dropped from 70.1 to 30.4 while in Jalandhar the rate came down to 43 from 94.6. Similarly in Hoshiarpur, the doubling rate saw a drop from 44.3 to 25.7 in the last one week.
Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, spokesperson of Punjab health department for Covid-19, said the situation in still under control, but warned that things could get worse if precautions are not taken by people, especially in populated areas. “As restrictions have been eased to great extent, maintaining social distancing will be the key,” he added.
Acknowledging population density as a major challenge for India, Soumya Swaminathan, deputy director general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) had called for preparing a strategy by involving local communities in keeping down the infection rate. In line with this, Punjab government had launched a month-long drive to spread mass awareness about the pandemic.
The government had urged NGOs, charitable institutions and social organisations to help it in spreading awareness among general public about what precautions that need to be taken for staying safe.