17 months on, cases, deaths see a dip in Jalandhar District

3 cases from Virk village among first few ones recorded on March 24, 2020

17 months on, cases, deaths see a dip in Jalandhar District

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 23

After recording a whopping 63,052 cases and 1,490 deaths so far since the outbreak of the contagion, the number of fresh cases and deaths has now come down to a trickle. It all started with three patients from Virk village, all relatives of an elderly person (alleged to be the first Covid-19 patient in Pathlawa village of Nawanshahr).

On March 24, 2020, three persons from a joint family in Virk village in the district, all belonging to a joint family, became the first cases of Covid-19 reported in the district. It was only on July 19, 2021, a few days ago that cases in the district came down to a low of three cases (reported in a single day) yet again. It has been around 16 months since Jalandhar saw a single day tally of three Covid cases.

Virk village was only the second village in the state to report cases as Pathlawa’s elderly was patient zero of the state.

The first three cases in the district led to a huge Covid tally with Jalandhar often seeing itself as the district with most cases in the state. It was on May 1, 2020, that the district crossed 100 cases and by then four persons had died.

It took exactly 17 months for cases to subside to the low of single day tally of three cases. While the second wave saw district cases touching ever new highs, it has taken nearly two to three months to the Covid peak (witnessed in May) to subside. On May 5 this year, the district reported an all-time high of 816 cases. But currently the cases have been considerably reduced.

In July, the district has seen 303 cases so far. For the past four days, the number of cases has been minimal. On July 19, three cases were reported followed by eight cases on July 20, 10 on July 21, 13 on July 22 and 16 on Friday.

Meanwhile, Virk village finds itself in the middle of the Covid vaccination drive.

Ashok Bangar, a social worker who distributed ration to the quarantined villagers and families in the beginning of the outbreak, now expresses relief that those days are over.

“Ours was among the first villages of the state to report Covid-19 cases. It was a difficult time. But the village rallied together to extend help to the families. We cooked langars, made masks and extended help from home to home. Except the first few odd cases, the district saw a few Covid-19 cases. We are now holding regular free vaccination camps to get the villagers vaccinated,” said Bangar.

However, experts caution that amidst the awaited surges of the third wave, people need to be careful.

Meanwhile, Dr Bhupinder Singh, in-charge for Covid, Jalandhar, said, “The cases are currently quite low. We have very few patients in wards and none of them are on ventilators. The bed capacity is currently on a par with that of the second wave. We have 60 level 3 beds and 280 level 3 beds to tackle Covid-19 cases.”

Deputy Medical Commissioner, Jalandhar, Dr Jyoti said, “Cases are currently down to 15 to 16 per day. That has of course provided relief and temporary relief. But the pandemic is not over yet. We plan a 100-bed increase in capacity of level 3 beds ahead of the third wave. People are being urged to take all precautions and not to step out without masks.”

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