Amid the uptick in Covid-19 cases in Chandigarh, the central government has asked the UT health department and the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) to step up surveillance to avert another surge of the pandemic.
“Since cases have started increasing, the central government has issued directions to ramp up daily testing for Covid-19 as per norms, and ready laboratory and hospital infrastructure to tackle the possible surge. Besides, focus is on isolating the positive patients and testing their contacts, so that infection does not spread in the community,” said Dr Suman Singh, director, health services, Chandigarh.
She added that the UT health department was already testing around 1,200 people daily, and was monitoring the Covid patients and their symptoms in early stages to control the spread of infection. “Focus is also on the five-fold strategy, including test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour,” she said.
“So far, there is no infection cluster in the city. The cases are scattered across the city. We have enough beds and medical oxygen available at hospitals, while testing laboratories are working at their full capacity. People must play their part by wearing face masks and following social distancing in public. They must get vaccinated at the earliest and should not skip booster doses, as the vaccine will help lower the severity of the infection,” Dr Singh said.
Meanwhile, Dr PVM Lakshmi, professor of epidemiology, PGIMER, said, “The central government has directed the states and government hospitals to focus on aggressive genome sequencing, intensified surveillance and keep an overall check on the Covid situation. At present, most of the Covid patients in PGIMER are either first-time infections or those who were not infected during the third wave of the pandemic in January this year.”
“The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is dominant in Chandigarh and neighbouring states. So far, BA.4 and BA.5 variants, which are responsible for the surge in foreign countries, have not been detected. But if transmitted in India, these variants can invite another surge, as people do not have immunity against the new variants,” Dr Lakshmi said.
140 cases in 12 days
Chandigarh has been witnessing a spike in its daily Covid cases in May, with 140 cases surfacing in the first 12 days, compared to only 26 in the same period in April.
In fact, Chandigarh had reported 140 cases in the entire April, a dip from 180 cases in March. On Wednesday (May 11) alone, Chandigarh had clocked 22 fresh infections, highest since February 25.
Tricity’s daily Covid cases dip to 24
A day after the tricity logged a 68-day high of 34 Covid-19 cases, their number dropped to 24 on Thursday.
Chandigarh, that clocked 22 cases on Wednesday, reported 10 fresh infections. In Mohali, the figure dipped from eight to five in the past 24 hours, but rose from four to nine in Panchkula.
Those found infected in Chandigarh are residents of Sectors 32, 35, 38, 44, 46 and 49, Daria village and Maloya.
Due to the drop in daily cases and more recoveries, tricity’s active cases also reduced from 183 to 181.
At 87, Chandigarh has the highest number of positive patients, followed by Mohali with 66 and Panchkula with 28.
Despite the fluctuation, tricity’s Covid cases have remained in the double digits for the past 23 days after staying below 10 for multiple weeks in March and April. Similarly, the active cases have remained over 100 for the past 17 days, while climbing steadily.