Cases at peak in second week of January, third wave reduced: CMO

As the number of COVID cases in Panchkula start to decline gradually, the district CMO on Tuesday hoped that the worst is over and Panchkula may have actually seen its cases peak during the second week of January.

The district had reported 1,065 cases on January 12, which is the highest ever since the pandemic broke out in the country. “We reached the peak around January 11. Since then, we have seen a slight but gradual reduction in the number of cases as well as the positivity rate. CMO Dr Mukta Kumar said that it is too early to say anything concrete as to when exactly the wave will end as the cases are still high. Indian Express,

The data showed that the number of more than 1,000 cases per day in the second week of January went up to around 500 in the third week of this month. On Tuesday, 541 new Kovid cases were reported in the district.

Speaking on the low number of deaths recorded during this wave, Dr Kumar said, “In the second wave, most of the people who contracted the virus were showing symptoms of severe respiratory distress and need for oxygen. In this wave, hospitalization has become very less. Only 15-20 per cent beds are occupied, even the condition of those admitted to the hospital was not critical. Only a handful of people, who were already suffering from serious ailments, succumbed to the virus this time. The disease is taking its course in 5-7 days. Most of the patients are recovering on their own.”

Dr Kumar’s comments were supported by data from the daily health bulletin, which showed that the death toll from the virus remained low with nine, despite the number of infections rising more rapidly than in the second wave. The deaths were witnessed in the last 25 days of January.

Even though the cases are decreasing gradually, Dr Kumar said that it is too early to predict that the Covid wave is over. “In Panchkula, the pattern of the virus was similar to that of other countries or cities in India, for example, Mumbai and Delhi. The positivity rate has come down after touching a peak. I think the virus is following the same pattern. Cases should not escalate further. In fact, there should be a progressive decline in cases from here. But we can’t really assess the timeline for when that will happen,” she said.

The health department has also cited massive immunization programs as a major reason for the milder COVID wave this time. “Though most of those who succumbed in the district were vaccinated, they had severe comorbidities, making them more vulnerable to the virus. We think this time vaccination could be one of the main and important factors for mildness of disease,” said the CMO.

He said, “No healthy young Covid positive person has died of the virus. Most of those who have passed away are either over 75 years of age or have serious concomitant diseases such as cancer,

Panchkula covered extensively in terms of COVID vaccines and managed to completely vaccinate its target population on 14 January. The district had also in September last year become the first in the tricity to have fully immunized all senior citizens who had registered.

Speaking about the progression of the disease during the current wave, the CMO said, “People should keep monitoring their respiratory rate and temperature. Watch for unusual symptoms. As soon as the shortness of breath starts or a person sees anything dangerous, they should go to the hospital, be it government or private. Every person who contracts the infection should see a doctor, even if initially for a holistic consultation. Medical consultation is important. ,

Though benign, Dr Kumar asked people to continue following the COVID protocol. “Deaths keep happening due to comorbidities and people should wear masks and take this virus seriously. All COVID protocols to be followed, including wearing of masks, washing hands and ensuring general hygiene. A good diet also plays an important role as immunity is important in this wave. This version is super contagious. Almost all those being tested are coming up positive. Wearing a mask and following the Covid protocol are the only things that will help,” she said.