41% of all Covid-19 cases reported in September

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Updated on Oct 01, 2020 06:23 AM IST
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ByPrayag Arora-Desai, Gurugram

Of the 20,417 cases of Covid-19 reported in the district so far, 41 percent (or 8500 cases) surfaced in the month of September alone, data released by state bulletins state.

During the same period, Covid-related mortality saw a 28 percent increase from last month, with 37 new deaths reported since September 1 (up from just 16 deaths recorded in August), the data further shows.

Health department officials attributed this spike to a continued increase in public mobility, spurred by lockdown fatigue and resumption of social and economic activities.

The uptick of cases in September marks the highest monthly aggregate of new infections since June, when the district recorded 4,716 cases of Covid-19. The subsequent months of July and August saw a sustained dip in the number of new cases, along with an increase in testing capabilities and a decline in the test-positivity rate (i.e. the ratio of positive cases to samples tested). Improvement in treatment protocols for serious and moderately ill patients, along with better enforcement of home isolation guides helped keep deaths lower, health department officials claimed.

“We have seen a second peak in September Increase in connectivity with Delhi, workplaces opening up, people resuming their social engagements... these are the most obvious reasons. Though there are also some theories that drop in temperature and post-monsoon changes in weather may have also sped up the transmission of the virus. We can’t say for sure,” said Dr Jai Prakash Sharma, the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program’s district surveillance officer in Gurugram.

Dr Prakash added that there has been a slowdown in cases over the past week, coinciding with a nationwide deceleration in growth of new cases. “After July, the dip in cases was localised. The spread instead had begun to pick up in rural districts and towns, but over the past week, there has been a widespread dip across not only Haryana, but the entire country. This is a good thing,” he said.

However, with winter soon approaching, officials are on guard that new infections may spike, and also worry that patients might require pharmalcological interventions. “Cases of respiratory illness tend to worsen during winter months, when we see far more people seeking medical attention for accurate respiratory disorder syndrome (ARDS) and severe acute respiratory illnesses (SARI). Whether this will worsen infections in symptomatic patients is yet to be seen. We are making preparations to increase testing during the winter season,” said Dr Ram Prakash Sharma, district epidemiologist, Gurugram. He, however, added that it was still too early to know if Gurugram is experiencing a ‘second wave’ of infections.

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