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Amid Covid surge, Centre asks UT admn to pull up its socks

September 05, 2020 07:02 AM


Amid Covid surge, Centre asks UT admn to pull up its socks
Admn told to create more quarantine centres and keep vigil on those self-isolated

Wild growth rampant on the Sukhna Lake island on Friday. The lake will remain out of bounds for visitors this weekend as well. The administration will review the decision next week. The weekend closure was introduced a month back amid surge in Covid cases. Boating has been suspended since restrictions were imposed in the city for the first time in March. Sanjeev Sharma/HT
Munieshwer A Sagar

Chandigarh : Expressing concern over the sharp surge in Covid-19 cases in Chandigarh in the last one month, the Centre has directed the UT administration to create more quarantine centres, it is learnt.

The administration in turn has sought a team of medical experts from the Centre to guide it in containing the spread of the disease in the city. The request was made in the review meeting on Covid-19 pandemic held with secretaries of Union health ministry and home ministry through video-conferencing on Friday.

Confirming the development, UT adviser Manoj Parida said: “I made a request for a team of medical experts to help us decide on the strategy to handle the situation. The team will also guide us in how to contain the spread.”

Of particular concern for senior central government officials was the sudden surge in the number of cases after relatively low rate of spread in comparison to the country for initial four months.

“The central government officials asked the UT to create more quarantine centres in the city. We have also been asked to keep a stricter vigil on the self-quarantined people, and better facilitate their shift to hospitals or quarantine facilities as and when required,” said a senior UT official, requesting anonymity.

The Union officials also inquired about requirements of doctors, beds or any other equipment for containing the spread of the virus.

“While stating that adequate beds are currently available in the city, the administration requested the Centre to ask the PGIMER to allocate more beds exclusively to the city. Currently, the PGIMER total bed capacity is being shared with Punjab, Haryana and other states too,” said the official.

The UT also requested for the supply of 40 more ventilators from the Centre. Of these, 20 will be allocated to the PGIMER and 20 to GMCH, Sector 32. “As of now, the requirement is being met. The request has been made to meet any contingency. The 20 ventilators for GMCH will be shared with the Sector 48 civil hosptial,” the official said.

Alarm bells ringing

August proved to be the worst month for Chandigarh with 3,300 positive cases and 41 deaths being reported. This means that 75% of the total cases (from March 18 to August 31) were reported in August alone while more than 73% deaths were also registered the same month.

The surge has continued in the first four days of September, with Chandigarh consistently reporting more than 200 new cases each day. As many as 922 cases have surfaced in this period, which is 17.5% of the total 5,268 cases. Also, almost 40% of the UT’s cases are still active. The city’s cumulative test positivity rate (TPA) is 15.6%. Positivity rate — the fraction of tests that return positive – is a crucial metric which suggests community spread of infection.

“Apart from this, Chandigarh recorded 6% average growth rate of infections. The average growth rate essentially means the speed at which Covid-19 infections increases. The city’s fatality rate stands at 1.29%, while the recovery rate was 58.9% against the national average is 77.15%,” said the official.

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