High fatality rate in rural areas of Punjab a concern

Of 9K deaths, 58% reported from villages | Civil surgeons told to intensify screening drive

High fatality rate in rural areas of Punjab a concern

A health worker collects a swab sample from a passenger in Patiala. Rajesh Sachar

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1

With 58 per cent deaths being registered from the rural areas, the Covid mortality rate in villages is reportedly much higher than the urban areas.

Of around 9,000 deaths in the state so far, 27 per cent were reported in the urban areas, while the rest in the rural areas.

Expressing concern over the rising rural deaths, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu instructed the civil surgeons to intensify the screening drive in villages.

Presiding over a meeting of the civil surgeons, Sidhu said: “There is still a misconception among people that they are suffering from the seasonal viral or typhoid. But when they reach hospitals due to breathing complications, they are diagnosed with Covid-19.”

He said considering the high case fatality rate (CFR) of the state, there was also need to keep close watch on the functioning of private clinics/RMPs in villages. “Senior Medical Officers must ensure Covid testing of each symptomatic person receiving treatment from such clinics,” he said.

If any private health facility has not shared the information concerning symptomatic persons on a routine basis, they must be booked under the Epidemic Diseases Act for violating the government guidelines, he added.

The civil surgeons mentioned in the meeting that with the help of the district administrations, all efforts were being made to further streamline the availability of oxygen in both private and civil hospitals in the districts.

The Health Minister directed them to prevent the wastage and unjustified use of oxygen. He said: “Dedicated audit teams must conduct surprise checks at all Covid care hospitals and submit their progress report to the MD, Punjab Health System Corporation.” Keeping in view the rapid rise in the number of cases, he also issued directions to increase beds in L2 and L3 facilities. “The next 15 days are critical for Punjab and the government has put in all efforts to save people from the deadly virus,” he added.

Return oximeters, residents told

Sangrur: Facing scarcity of pulse oximeters, the Malerkotla administration has been trying to trace recovered patients to take back oximeters from them for reuse. “We have requested residents to return the oximeters they received in Fateh Kit,” said T Benith, Malerkotla SDM. TNS

‘Will take up demands of rural docs’

Chandigarh: Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa has appealed to rural doctors and pharmacists to perform their duty with dedication as frontline workers with the Health Department. He also said by next week, their demands would be taken up with the CM. TNS

Patiala hospital reports 37 deaths

Patiala: Thirty-seven patients have died at Rajindra Hospital over the past 24 hours. The hospital recorded over 415 deaths in April, which is four times the fatalities witnessed in March. TNS

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