Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 22
Less than one per cent of the state’s population has shown Covid-like symptoms in the early phases of the population survey currently underway in the state to assess influenza-like signs in the community.
The community survey, which has so far covered 8,40,223 people in house-to-house visits, found the symptoms of cough, fever, sore throat and breathlessness in only 3,997 persons, which is 0.5 per cent of the population covered so far.
Testing up since April 10
Punjab was conducting 71 tests per million as on April 10. The number has risen to 5,953 a million on Monday. This is an 83-time increase in testing
Of the total people visited, a whopping 8,36,829 were asymptomatic and without signs of respiratory stress.
Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, state nodal officer for Covid-19, today said the early findings were encouraging in that a miniscule population appeared to be at risk of Covid. “We are now in the process of testing these 3,997 symptomatic persons for Covid,” he said.
On asymptomatic people, Bhaskar said the national Covid response guidelines at the moment required the states to focus only on symptomatic people, high-risk contacts of positive cases and symptomatic healthcare and frontline workers. “In a month, we will have the results of the survey, but the early conclusions show positive trends for the community,” said Bhaskar.
Punjab has emerged a leader in the whole population survey for Covid and also facility-based surveillance of persons hospitalised with severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) and influenza-like illness (ILI). The ICMR had earlier asked the states to do these studies to determine the scale of Covid in their populations. The SARI/ILI survey was underway in 22 district hospitals and the data for 680 patients had already been received, said Bhaskar. More data was awaited. With active containment and isolation, the state has leashed cases at 4,235, of which 1,309 are active, 2,825 have recovered and 102 have died.
Centre hails state’s efforts
The Centre on Monday hailed the state’s micro-containment of Covid-19 through 19 containment zones in eight districts, covering 25,000 persons. The Health Ministry said the state had made good progress against the virus with a stringent containment strategy, perimeter control in containment zones, rigorous house-to-house search to detect suspected cases and quick isolation of those positive. The Centre also hailed “Ghar Ghar Nigrani” app to check the spread of the virus and for conducting nearly 8,000 tests a day.
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