Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 22
Complacency to masks and social-distancing norms seems to have cost the state dear as, after a four-month continuous decline in cases and deaths, Punjab is again witnessing a spike in Covid cases.
The number of cases in January came down to just 6,754 and there were 274 deaths, which was less than half of the cases reported in December and was around 11 per cent of the cases reported in September, when the state hit the peak and in just one month, 60,000 cases were reported.
State Nodal Officer for Covid Dr Rajesh Bhaskar said the cases started increasing in the past two weeks. The daily average of cases in January was between 200 and 250. However, in the past 15 days, the average of cases rises to between 350 and 400. In the last three weeks, besides 153 deaths, a total 5,377 cases have been reported.
The main reason behind the surge is lax attitude of people towards social distancing and masks. Dr Tejwant Singh Dhillon, Civil Surgeon, Bathinda said, “There has been a slight increase in the cases as compared to the last few weeks. We have been keeping a regular watch and conducting sampling on a routine basis. We also appeal to people to take all precautions to avoid catching the virus.”
In Patiala, the big concern is that some schoolteachers have found positive. Civil Surgeon Satinder Singh said they had issued directions to all schools to follow Covid norms.
Amritsar has noticed an increase in the number of Covid cases in the past three days. The district has reported 117 cases, 30 per cent of the total 392 reported this month. The increase was first noticed when the authorities reported 35 cases, including a Congress MLA and around 20 members of his extended family. The MLA had returned from Delhi after attending a function of his daughter marriage. The health authorities stated that earlier this month, on an average, 15 cases were reported daily. The mortality rate had also come down.
On Monday, the state reported 389 cases, including 15 deaths. It included three deaths each from Jalandhar and Ludhiana, two each from Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur and one each from Amritsar, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Patiala and Tarn Taran. As per a media bulletin, with fresh cases, the number of cases has reached 1,78,847 and deaths 5,769.
Two Judges contract infection
- Two HC Judges have been advised to remain in quarantine while a District and Sessions Judge from Punjab and a Chief Judicial Magistrate from Haryana have tested positive for the virus.
- High Court Registrar Vigilance-cum-PRO Vikram Aggarwal on Monday said a Punjab and Haryana High Court official and a peon attached had also tested positive for the infection. TNS
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