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Less than 1% cases required ventilator in Punjab

Of 21 positive patients of total 2,197 put on ventilator to date, however, 19 have died; 83% patients remained asymptomatic, and even recovered without showing any symptom
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Ravinder Vasudeva, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON MAY 30, 2020 12:05 AM IST

Even as there was a huge political uproar over lack of ventilators in covid-19 facilities, as the state prepared itself to deal with the outbreak of coronavirus, data reveals that in Punjab the breathing machine was used in less than 1% of total cases.Of 2,197 patients, only 21 required a ventilator to date, data that the Punjab health and family welfare department has compiled shows.

However, 19 (90%) could not survive and died, pointing to the low survival rate of positive cases after ventilator support is required to them. Two patients are still on ventilator, with one of them critical. Punjab had made provision of 600 ventilators in government and private facilities for covid-19 patients.

“In Punjab, 83% of covid-19 cases remained asymptomatic and recovered without exhibiting any symptom. Ventilator is needed at a critical stage and we are lucky that use of this machine has remained below our anticipation,” Punjab’s nodal officer for Covid-19, Dr Rajesh Bhaskar said.

Among 375 symptomatic patients that the state has seen to date, 5.6% needed a ventilator. Experts claims that is lower than in other countries, but despite the low utilisation of the machine, the health department will procure more ventilators.

“It’s a battle in which the state cannot relax. You never know, when another outbreak might hit and the need for ventilators shoots up. We have to be prepared for the worst,” said a senior health functionary.

Figures also show that oxygen support was required in less than 50 cases and most symptomatic patients recovered without serious ailments, except those who died.

Among 42 death to date, covid-19 was confirmed in five cases post-death and in all death cases, co-morbidity was present.

Punjab did highest sampling on May 27

Sampling for covid-19 in Punjab saw its biggest-ever jump on May 27, when the state conducted 3,544 tests. Over the past three days, nearly 9000 RT-PCR tests have been done, with the number increasing by around 4% every day.

For the two weeks previous to this, the daily average was between 2,000 and 2,100. The state now has a testing capacity of 4,810 a day across government and private facilities.“More random samples would be collected over the next couple of days to check the spread of the virus,” said Dr Bhaskar.

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