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Fresh concern in Punjab over rapid rise in home-grown Covid-19 cases | Chandigarh News

CHANDIGARH: Punjab has recorded a steep rise in number of people coming in contact of infected people with no travel history testing positive, indicating home-grown cases.
Besides this, there are 55 cases for which the state’s health department has not been able to trace the transmission history till date. Expressing concern over the trend, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday had hinted at possibility of community spread.

From May 11 to May 31, over 35% of total positive cases were contacts of infected patients. A total of 164 people, who tested positive during the period had got infected by their local contacts, of which 106 tested positive for the virus in last one week. Most of these cases were reported from big populated districts like Amritsar, Jalandhar, Pathankot and Ludhiana.
On May 24, a total of 15 positive cases surfaced in the state of which 12 were contacts of positive cases while on May 26, 19 cases out of 25 were contacts of positive cases. Similarly, on May 28 out of 19 cases, 12 people got infected by their local contacts and on May 31, 14 out of 30 cases were contacts of infected people.
The trend has left health experts worried and they fear more people will get infected with easing of restrictions as it will be difficult to maintain social distancing, especially in bigger cities.
Dr KK Talwar, Punjab government’s adviser on health issues, said authorities are worried about spread of virus in populated cities. “Social distancing is difficult in populated cities. It’s not that people don’t want to follow norms, but they might not be able to due to population,” said Dr Talwar.
Citing Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad, Dr Talwar said many cases have been reported from densely populated areas. The Punjab government will now have to focus on catching infected people early so they can be isolated, he said. The state government is all set to launch door-to-door home surveillance across districts with the help of Asha workers and women in the community. The health department has developed a mobile application for tracing and tracking symptomatic cases, who do not report to authorities.
To counter the threat of spread of virus, the health department has revised its strategy. Besides testing all symptomatic individuals and asymptomatic direct, high-risk contacts of confirmed positive cases and patients with respiratory illnesses, the health department has started testing vulnerable population where there is high probability of spread of infection. Random sampling is being done of non-symptomatic high risk persons and households in vulnerable areas. High risk persons working in congested and high contact areas such as vegetable and fruit market, retail stores etc.
Punjab has also initiated surveillance for influenzalike illnesses (ILI) in the community to identify any person having flu-like symptoms at the earliest.

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