Virus source in one-fourth of Pun­jab cases un­trace­able

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - Htpunjab - Man­deep Kaur Narula

AM­RIT­SAR : The source of in­fec­tion in as many as 26% Covid-19 cases in Pun­jab re­mains un­trace­able, the state health depart­ment’s data re­veals.

This has emerged as a ma­jor cause of con­cern for the health of­fi­cials amid the ris­ing cases.

So far, the state has recorded 43,284 pos­i­tive cases, of which 28,357 pa­tients have re­cov­ered and 1,129 have suc­cumbed to the in­fec­tion. While some health ex­perts fear spread of virus go­ing un­de­tected in parts of the state, others rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of com­mu­nity trans­mis­sion stage.

“Most of the un­traced cases are from Covid-19 hot­bed dis­tricts — Am­rit­sar, Lud­hi­ana, Jalandhar, Patiala and Mo­hali. The health teams, how­ever, are putting spe­cial ef­forts on trac­ing the source of in­fec­tion among th­ese pa­tients. The per­cent­age is likely to dip in the com­ing days,” said state Pun­jab Covid-19 nodal of­fi­cer Dr Ra­jesh Bhaskar.

He added, “The com­mu­nity trans­mis­sion stage will start when the per­cent­age of cases with un­trace­able source will reach 60% or above. But there are less chances of it as the sit­u­a­tion is un­der con­trol amid an on­go­ing ac­tive sur­veil­lance. Also, the state has al­ready an­nounced a se­ries of mea­sures, in­clud­ing lock­downs and cur­few, which will help in con­trol­ling the surge. The next 14 to 20 days will be cru­cial for us.”

Am­rit­sar as­sis­tant civil sur­geon Dr Amar­jit Singh said, “In Am­rit­sar, nearly 20% of Covid-19 pa­tients claim not to have met any in­fected pa­tient or hav­ing stepped out of their houses. The source of in­fec­tion among them is un­clear. Such cases are a clear ev­i­dence of the com­mu­nity spread. It is im­por­tant to in­crease the num­ber of tests to de­tect symp­to­matic as well as asymp­to­matic peo­ple at early stages to stop the fur­ther trans­mis­sion. Peo­ple need to fol­low the guide­lines strictly to avoid get­ting in­fected.”

Most of the un­traced cases are from the state’s Covid-19 hot­bed dis­tricts — Am­rit­sar, Lud­hi­ana, Jalandhar, Patiala and Mo­hali. The per­cent­age is likely to dip in the com­ing days. DR RA­JESH BHASKAR, Pun­jab Covid-19 nodal of­fi­cer


“The district ad­min­is­tra­tions have been as­signed with the task of trac­ing the source of in­fec­tions of Covid-19 pa­tients. Each district will have a three­mem­ber team which will help the health of­fi­cials,” said Dr Bhaskar.

Am­rit­sar deputy com­mis­sioner Gur­preet Singh said, “We will make a team which will help the rapid re­sponse squads in trac­ing the source of in­fec­tions. On an av­er­age, the district traces 6 con­tacts for each Covid pa­tient. The fig­ure is low as we need to test at least 10 peo­ple for each pa­tient.”

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