Chandigarh sees 43% surge in weekly Covid cases
Amid fears of second Covid-19 wave in many parts of the country, Chandigarh, too, has seen a sudden rise in cases in the past one week, according to data analysed by Hindustan Times.
After showing a downward trend, the number of weekly cases jumped from 131 between February 8 and 14 to 187 between February 15 and 21 — an increase of 43% (see graphic).
This is coupled with a steady rise in the number of active cases, which crossed the 200 mark on Monday for the first time since January 19. Also, in a departure from the trend of daily new cases remaining below 30 for around two weeks, 38 fresh infections were reported on Monday.
Chandigarh had reported the first case of coronavirus on March 18, following which strict restrictions were imposed to stop the spread. Later, as the restrictions were eased in a phased manner, the pandemic reached a peak in the middle of September, after which there was a decline in the number of cases and deaths.
The numbers again saw a marginal rise after the festive season in November, raising fears of a second wave, but the upward trend did not sustain for long.
Now, a surge has been witnessed across India, with Chandigarh’s weekly average growth rate of cases reaching 0.12%, which is the fourth highest in the country after Kerala (0.44%), Maharashtra (0.23%), and Punjab (0.12%). The national average is 0.11%.
The city’s weekly positivity rate has also seen an uptick in the past week, going up from 1.4% to 1.9%. However, due to an increase in testing, it has not reached the previous higher levels.
‘Need surveillance, focus on hygiene’
Dr Amandeep Kaur Kang, director, health services, said there was a need to focus on personal hygiene and surveillance.
“People have thrown caution to the wind. Strict enforcement for Covid appropriate behaviour is required. A large part of the population is still vulnerable to the infection, as suggested by recent national-level surveys on antibodies,” she said, adding that no new variant of the virus has been detected among the positive cases so far.
Prof PVM Lakshmi, an epidemiologist at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, said that with more relaxations in commercial and educational spaces, the number of cases is bound to increase, but the spike can be brought under control through timely measures.
Health department officials also expressed concern over the daily addition in the list of fatalities, that had become irregular in the beginning of the year. One casualty was reported on Monday as well.
“There is almost a death being reported every day, which does not correlate with the decreasing number of cases seen till two weeks back,” a health official said, requesting anonymity.
Meanwhile, PGIMER, the region’s tertiary care institute, has started seeing a rise in the hospitalised Covid-19 patients. “The number had come down to 30, but has again reached 45,” said Dr Vipin Kaushal, nodal officer, Covid-19 hospital, PGIMER.
The total number of cases in Chandigarh stands at 21,463. While 20,908 (97.5%) patients have recovered, 350 (1.6%) have died, leaving 205 (0.95%) active cases. The total number of vaccinated persons has reached 15,039 , after 1,539 frontline workers of the 7,503 called for the drive were inoculated on Monday. As many as 294 also got the second dose.
UT adviser Manoj Parida said the administration is keeping a close watch on the situation and timely action will be taken if it deteriorates.
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