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Covid count goes past 15,000 in Chandigarh

November 08, 2020 05:56 AM

COURTESY HT NOV 8

Covid count goes past 15,000 in Chandigarh
Amid rise in active cases, health officials warn of fatality rate going up too if caution not exercised


Amanjeet Singh Salyal

amanjeet.singh@htlive.com

Chandigarh : It has taken 234 days for Chandigarh’s Covid-19 tally to cross the 15,000 mark, after the first infection was reported on March 18 this year.

With 98 people testing positive for the virus on Saturday, the total has reached 15,025.

Meanwhile, two elderly men with comorbidities succumbed, taking the toll to 232. Aged 60 and 79, they belonged to Sectors 38 and 40, respectively.

The infection has witnessed an uptick since the beginning of November, with the daily count crossing 100 after a span of more than a month on Friday.

Even as the number of deaths has dropped in the past two weeks, with another surge, the number can jump again, warn health officials.

In the first two weeks of October, the average number of deaths reported daily was between two and three. In the first week of November, it dropped to less than one. This also led to a marginal decrease in fatality rate from 1.6% to 1.5%.

However, the ratio of active cases to the total, which had dropped below 5%, has again reached 5.5%.

Active cases had reached their peak amid a surge in infection in September. As many as 3,171 cases were active on September 16. With the pandemic hitting a plateau in October, and recoveries surpassing fresh cases, active cases started a downward trend. However, the number has gone up from 593 on November 2 to 815 on Saturday (November 7).

“As active cases increase, the chances of death also increase. We have lately seen a gradual increase in the number of active cases, which is not a good sign,” said a senior health official, who did not wish to be named.

As air pollution due to firecrackers could increase fatalities, the authorities have banned them, said Dr Amandeep Kang, director, health department. “It will certainly help contain the situation. Residents should adhere to the norms,” she said.

85% patients who died had comorbidities

A few days before the ban, the administration had issued a health advisory, stating: “People should desist from bursting firecrackers in order to prevent air pollution and protect the elderly and people with comorbidities.”

In fact, nearly 85% patients from Chandigarh who died while undergoing treatment for Covid-19 had succumbed to other underlying diseases that got aggravated due to the infection, according to data provided by the UT health department.

Chandigarh has reported deaths of 232 Covid-19 patients so far, of whom 190 had other diseases (comorbidities) and five died by suicide or accident.

Dr VK Nagpal, joint director, health department, Chandigarh, said comorbidities had emerged as a key factor behind the deaths.

“It is clear the patients had other ailments before getting infected,” he said, adding that data suggests the major cause has been uncontrolled conditions, which mainly include diabetes, pneumonia, hypertension and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

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