Fresh surge in Covid cases; highest in 2 months

Fresh surge in Covid cases; highest in 2 months

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 22

After a gap of around two months, a big surge of 54 was seen in the number of fresh Covid cases in the district on Monday. This may be the highest single-day count reported in the district in the last two months.

Jalandhar logs three deaths, 54 new cases

It was on May 1 last year that the district crossed 100 cases. In the past nine months, the district tally has crossed 21,000 cases. With the fresh cases, it stands at 21,286 today. However, with a fresh surge in the number of Covid cases in the past week, concerns regarding the new strain of Covid reaching Punjab haunt health authorities.

The surge is dramatic compared to the much in control Covid scenario in January. On certain days in January mere five to 10 cases were reported in Jalandhar. For example, on January 26, only five cases were reported in the district, on January 27, as many as 26 cases were reported and on January 29, 19 cases were reported. With per day averages dipping down to five to 10, in February the per day cases maintained an overall average of 20 to 30 cases per day. However, for the past one week, 40 to 45 (and on one occasion even 45 cases per day) were reported.

However, the most bothersome part is that as per insiders the Health Department is not even tracking the NRIs returning home.

While in the months of March and April last year (in the beginning of the Covid surge), ASHA workers and paramedical staff were deputed to track the returnees from abroad. However, at present no such tracking is taking place.

Speaking to The Tribune, an ASHA worker said, “At present, we are not tracking NRI returnees. We had been deputed for verification regarding Ayushman cards for which we have been collecting information from door to door. A meeting with the Civil Surgeon has been fixed for tomorrow but so far we have not been given any instructions to track Covid among returnees from abroad or other states.”

Meanwhile, most people of the district move without putting a mask in public places. Even many people at crowded places can be seen without any mask.

Jalandhar Civil Surgeon Dr Balwant Singh said, “Though sampling in Jalandhar is very intensive, Covid cases are being reported. But we have not come across any case of NRI who returned from abroad and tested positive for Covid. As far as tracking is concerned, it is done at airports. So far, we do not believe the surge in Jalandhar is connected to the new strain.”

The Civil Surgeon confirmed that a meeting with ASHA workers was due on Tuesday in which they would be asked to increase sampling and tracking of Covid patients.

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