Second wave sweeps Punjab’s rural belt

50 deaths in 10 days in Patiala villages | Case fatality rate 2.86 against 1.73 in urban areas

Second wave sweeps Punjab’s rural belt

Health officials cremate a Covid patient at Thuhi village in Patiala on Tuesday. Tribune photo

Karam Prakash
Tribune News Service
Patiala, May 11

The virus is fast spreading its tentacles across the countryside with rising number of Covid-19 deaths being reported in the rural areas.

In the past 10 days, 50 persons have died of Covid-19 in villages across Patiala district. The count may be higher as many deaths go unreported due to lack of testing, say health officials.

Reluctant to go for testing

  • People in villages seldom go for testing and treatment, until they reach a critical stage. Further, health facilities rural areas are scant
  • Rural deaths contribute 34% to the total count, while the rural case count is 20% in the district
  • Between April 1 and May 11, 3,708 tested positive in rural areas. Of these, 106 died

Suggesting a high case fatality rate (CFR) in the rural areas, Dr Sumeet Singh, district epidemiologist, said rural deaths were contributing around 34 per cent to the total count, while the rural case count was only 20 per cent.

The CFR in rural areas stood at 2.86, compared to 1.73 in the urban areas. As per the Health Department, 3,708 persons tested positive in the rural areas of whom 106 succumbed to the virus between April 1 and May 11.

It is learnt that people in villages do not readily go for testing and treatment, until they reach a critical stage. Further, health facilities in the countryside are said to be scant.

A health official said: “Villagers do not go for testing until the situation becomes critical. Only a few undergo testing. As a result, many deaths go unreported. A majority of villagers is reluctant to visit health centres or hospitals despite having symptoms.”

Patiala Civil Surgeon Dr Satinder Singh said: “We will soon increase testing in villages. Our mobile teams will hold testing camps at villages. Besides, we have already issued warnings to the practitioners there for causing undue delay in sending Covid patients to appropriate facilities.”

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