Punjab: Fresh Covid cases cross 1,100/day-mark, 12 more deaths

In yet another highest single-day spike in past five months, Punjab recorded 1,179 fresh Covid cases and 12 more deaths, as per the state bulletin on Saturday.

On Thursday (March 4), in the highest single-day spike in the past five months, the daily case count had breached 1,000-mark with 1,074 new cases. Since February 1, Covid case-count in Punjab has been on a constant upsurge. From nearly 200 cases a day in February first week, it has now reached 1,000 cases a day in March first week.

This is the second Covid surge being witnessed in Punjab after the single-day highest count of 2,896 cases was reported on September 17, 2020. Before March 4, it was on October 5, 2020 that daily cases had crossed 1,000 mark and 1,062 cases were reported that day.

With 12 fresh deaths as per Saturday’s bulletin, the toll in Punjab due to Covid has reached 5,910.

With 1,179 fresh coronavirus cases, the total infections reached 1,87,348. The maximum fresh cases were recorded in SBS Nagar (156), Jalandhar (154), Hoshiarpur (137) and Ludhiana (146).

While 20 patients in Punjab continue to be ‘critical and on ventilator support’, 131 are on oxygen support.

The maximum active cases are in district Mohali (SAS Nagar) — 928.

Centre rushes team to Punjab

In a statement, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW), said, “The central government has rushed high-level multi-disciplinary public health teams to Maharashtra and Punjab in view of increase in number of daily new Covid-19 cases being consistently reported by these states. They are being deployed to assist the state health departments in Covid-19 surveillance, control and containment measures…”

The team being sent to Punjab is being led by Dr S K Singh, Director, National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi.

“The teams will visit the states immediately and will visit the hotspot areas in the states and ascertain reasons for the surge,” said the statement.

“Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have reported a high number of Covid daily new cases. They cumulatively account for 82 per cent of the new cases reported in past 24 hours.

Punjab chief secy heads Covid review meet

Meanwhile, Punjab chief secretary Vini Mahajan held a review meeting at Chandigarh Saturday ‘to effectively manage the second wave of the pandemic’.

Noting that the ‘second wave had already started’, she said that all deputy commissioners and police chiefs must ensure that large gatherings like marriages, religious events and social functions should be restricted as per the guidelines of the government and Covid monitors should be deputed at marriage palaces and other places of gatherings.

She further directed the Deputy Commissioners and police chiefs to ensure strict enforcement of Covid-19 regulations at all places in their respective jurisdiction and people be educated for Covid appropriate behaviours.

Mahajan also emphasized upon the detailed assessment of Health Care Facilities to effectively combat the second wave. She asked the officers to quickly undertake an analysis of positivity rate in towns, where elections were held recently, to assess the impact of crowding at these places. She said that as the overall positivity rate in schools is low, hence there is no need to close the schools. She however added that the school teachers should be encouraged to get tested and eligible teachers must be vaccinated as front line workers on priority. The chief secretary expressed concern that number of cases and positivity rate has increased in the last two weeks in 9 districts of Punjab.

Hussan Lal, Principal Secretary, Health, informed that 2,38,367 persons have already been given first dose of Covid-19 vaccine with no major adverse events following immunization. He also appraised the Chief Secretary regarding a model which predicts huge surge in number of cases starting mid-March to 3,000 cases per day by end of March.

Vaccination phase 2: Day 6

As many as 7,504 beneficiaries (60+ and 45-59 years with comorbidities) were vaccinated in Punjab Saturday. With this, a total of 31,113 beneficiaries from this category have been vaccinated in five days since phase-2 vaccinated started on March 1.

A total of 1.81 lakh beneficiaries (healthcare + frontline workers) with first dose and 49,386 with dose 2, have been vaccinated in Punjab in phase 1, till Saturday.

In total for phase 1 and 2, Punjab has administered 2.61 lakh doses (Dose 1 +dose 2), till Saturday.

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