Audit: All Covid victims in Punjab had co-morbidities

77% had kidney disease, cancer, HIV; 23% heart disease, hypertension, diabetes

Audit: All Covid victims in Punjab had co-morbidities

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 28

Not even a single healthy person was among the 40 Covid-19 deaths in Punjab. The fact came to the fore in an audit carried out by experts in the state.

As per the details, among patients who died due to the virus, 77 per cent (31) were over 50 years of age and suffered from serious underlying diseases like end-stage kidney disease, cancer, HIV, besides uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure. Chronic illnesses like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and obesity were major contributing factors in the remaining 23 per cent of cases.

Eight patients had end-stage kidney disease and were on dialysis, which in itself is life threatening. Besides, nine patients had uncontrolled diabetes, which again is a serious condition.

A few cases were severely immunocompromised as they were HIV positive. Such patients are highly prone to infections and have little capacity to fight these, health officials said.

Death in most cases occurred in patients who were already suffering from serious illnesses which might have led to mortality in natural course of events, an official says. As many as 1,918 patients have already recovered, out of total 2,106 positive cases reported so far.

Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare Anurag Agarwal says Punjab has also done exceedingly well in crucial parameters of Covid-19. “The recovery rate in the state is 91 per cent, the highest in the country. At 1.3 per cent, mortality rate is the lowest,” he said. In all cases, where patients were found to be Covid positive irrespective of the underlying disease, as per ICMR guidelines, the death is counted as Covid death, Agarwal points out, underlining that the state’s mortality rate is significantly lower than the national average of 3 per cent.

Further, in many cases samples were taken after the patient’s death. Those who turned positive were counted as Covid-19 deaths. This was done to not to miss on contact tracing of possible positive patients, Agarwal says.

The expert committee, headed by Dr Talwar, also guided the state to analyse and review the cases of deaths and take corrective action accordingly. The review of the deaths was also taken up by the expert committee in detail and the doctors were updated with latest information.

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