With 7-fold jump in daily Covid deaths, Punjab cause for ‘extreme concern’: Union ministry

As per the detailed data analysis released by the Centre, the average daily cases in Punjab have shot up from just 240 cases (February 10 to 16) to 2,793 cases (March 31 to April 6).

With nearly 11 fold jump in average daily cases and a seven-fold jump in daily Covid deaths in a sopan of eight weeks, Punjab remains a “cause of maximum concern” alongwith Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, the Centre Tuesday said.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, given their population, the number of deaths being reported by Punjab and Chhattisgarh are a cause of extreme concern.

“If we look at Punjab, three per cent of the total cases are being reported from Punjab now and it accounts for 4.5 per cent of the total fatalities in the country,” he said.

As per the detailed data analysis released by the Centre, the average daily cases in Punjab have shot up from just 240 cases (February 10 to 16) to 2,793 cases (March 31 to April 6).

Similarly, the daily average deaths in Punjab due to Covid have witnessed almost seven-time jump. From eight deaths a day on average (from February 10 to 16), the fatalities due to Covid have increased to 58 a day (March 31 to April 6).

The average RT-PCR test is 76 per cent, which is satisfactory, the Union health secretary said, adding the weekly positivity rate in the period rose from 1.30 per cent to 8.75 per cent and to reduce that the number of tests have to be scaled up.

Meanwhile, Punjab recorded 62 more deaths and added 2,924 fresh cases in the past 24 hours.

The active cases rose to 25,913 and 2,350 patients recuperated, taking the number of recoveries to 2.24 lakh, according to a health bulletin.

The 62 new fatalities took the the toll to 7,216, while the infection tally rose to 2,57,057 with 2,924 cases.

Mohali reported a maximum of 521 cases, followed by 401 in Ludhiana, 307 in Jalandhar, 290 in Patiala and 248 in Amritsar. Nine people succumbed to the infection in Amritsar, seven in Hoshiarpur, six in Jalandhar, five each in Gurdaspur, Kapurthala, Mohali and Ludhiana, among others, it said.

There are 29 critical patients who are on ventilator support while 357 are on oxygen support. The maximum active cases are in SAS Nagar district (4,280), followed by Amritsar (3,213), Jalandhar (3,124) and Ludhiana (2,876).

On Monday, Centre had rushed two-member multidisciplinary, public health teams for nine districts of Punjab (one team for each district) to assist local health authorities in Covid-19 management. The nine districts where these teams have been deployed are: Amritsar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Rupnagar (Ropar), SAS Nagar (Mohali), Jalandhar, SBS Nagar (Nawanshahr), Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur.

These districts have been reporting maximum daily cases and deaths in Punjab with all four Doaba districts (Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, SBS Nagar & Kapurthala) emerging as Covid hotspots in the second wave which started in Punjab in February last week. The first wave was witnessed in August-October last year.

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