Virus source in one-fourth of Punjab cases untraceable
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
DISTRICT ADMNS TO HELP TRACE CONTACTS
“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.”