Don’t treat Covid as common cold, Patiala health officials warn people

Don’t treat Covid as common cold, Patiala health officials warn people

A health worker administers a dose of the Covid vaccine to a boy in Patiala on Sunday. Tribune photo: Rajesh Sachar

Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 16

Amid the mounting Covid deaths in the district, the Health Department has asked residents to stop treating Covid-19 as a common cold. The appeal by the Health Department is said to have come after they noticed that symptomatic patients were reaching hospital at a very late stage.

A 40-year-old woman from the Urban Estate area, who had Covid-like symptoms for the past many days, reached the hospital only after reaching a critical stage. The patient, consequently, died within hours of admission. Health officials said the said patient did not undergo the Covid test despite having symptoms and was on self-medication.

In another similar case, an 80-year-old Patiala resident died of Covid-19, purportedly, ignoring the government guidelines. The patient ignored the potential fatality of virus and warranted not to visit the hospital, informed the Health Department.

Dr Sumeet Singh, District Epidemiologist, said that people were putting down the Omicron strain of Covid-19 virus as common cold. He said, “This is a sheer ignorance of the people to take the Omicron lightly, especially, by the vulnerable folks. People should get themselves tested as soon as they develop symptoms. They should refrain from self-medication.”

It has been learnt that many people are not coming forward for Covid testing despite having Covid like symptoms.

Meanwhile, Patiala Civil Surgeon Dr Prince Sodhi said the district reported 465 positive cases today. He said that one patient had died of Covid over the past 24 hours, thereby, taking the total death count to 1387, since the pandemic broke out in 2020. With 435 fresh recoveries, the active case count in the district stands at 4,090.

Case surge due to Omicron

Amid rising Covid cases, Omicron variant seems to be the dominating strain in the district. Officials of the Health Department said that around 16 samples — of the 19 positive cases tested for genome sequencing at Government Medical College — had the new strain Omicron. The remaining three samples had a delta variant. Besides, the lab reports also confirmed that prevalence of new strain Omicron was dominant in local transmission because majority of the samples were of local residents. The lab was earlier testing only international travellers for the new variant and not the local positive cases.

Confirming the development, Dr Sumeet Singh, District Epidemiologist, said, “We had already hypothesised that Omicron variant was behind the sudden rise in Covid cases in the district. The lab reports have now confirmed the same. The transmission rate of this variant is very high.”

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