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In September, Ghaziabad saw almost 200 new Covid-19 cases per day

PUBLISHED ON SEP 28, 2020 12:10 AM IST

Ghaziabad: In September, the number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases reported daily in the Ghaziabad district are found to be at an average of about 195 so far, official records show. According to officials, they estimate that the trend is likely to continue in October as well, as testing will be ramped up to 6,000 tests per day from the current 3,500-4,000 tests per day.

According to records of the district health department, at least 5,073 Covid-19 cases were reported till September 26.Meanwhile, July saw 3,440 cases (average of 110 a day) while August saw 3,392 cases (average of 109 a day).

“In July and August, we conducted about 600 tests per million of population per day, while in September, the number of tests has been over 800 per million per day. So, the rise in cases could also be a result of increase in testing. As of now, we are conducting 3,500-4,000 tests per day in Ghaziabad,” said Dr NK Gupta, chief medical officer of the district.

“The nodal officer has directed for strict enforcement of norms in containment zones and testing to be increased to 6,000 per day. Besides, we are strictly monitoring coronavirus patients who are in home isolation. If a patient is found flouting norms, they will be immediately shifted to Covid facility. With the increase in testing, the trend of a steep rise in cases is likely to continue in October as well,” Dr Gupta, added.

According to official records, the district conducted an average of 617 tests per day per million in July and 677 tests per day per million in August. Data reveals that this rate was ramped up to about 850 tests per million per day in September so far.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends 140 Covid-19 tests per million residents a day.

“Increase in testing is also one of the reasons why the number of cases increased in September. However, with more and more social activities opening up, there is a lot of mixing of the population in areas like markets, offices and other places. Besides, the public has been showing signs of complacency as people are often seen not wearing masks and even not adhering to social distancing norms. So, all these factors have contributed to the rise in the number of coronavirus cases,” said Dr VB Jindal, president of Indian Medical Association – Ghaziabad.

However, the rise in cases is mostly in urban segments and less in rural areas as there is less overcrowding in the latter, Dr Jindal added. “It is estimated that the number of cases has been seeing an upward trend since March and hopefully, we have reached a plateau. However, it may take more time to see a declining trend. Till then, adherence to all health protocols is essential,” he said.

The district had a positivity rate of 4.59% till September 26, with 2,94,819 sampling/tests conducted so far. Official records show that positivity has been below 5% since the past three months. According to recommendations by WHO, the positivity rate of a region which has a comprehensive testing programme should be at or below 5% for at least two weeks before it can be considered that the outbreak is under control in the region.

The district had a recovery rate of 85.87% till September 26, while the fatality rate with the overall 76 deaths so far was about 0.56%.

Experts, however, caution against confusing seasonal flu with Covid symptoms.

“Apart from opening up of activities, the public, seeing that the rate of recovery is high, are becoming more casual and less fearful of the pandemic, which is causing the number of cases to rise. The other reason is that seasonal flu is also prevalent in August and September, and people are misjudging their symptoms, taking a longer time to decide to get themselves tested, which is aiding in the easy spread of the infection,” said Dr Gyan Bharti, senior pulmonologist from Columbia Asia Hospital at Ghaziabad.

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