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Doctors fear rising Covid-19 cases may overwhelm health infra, again


Naina Mishra

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7

With active cases breaching the 1,000 mark in a short period, reaffirming high infectivity of the Omicron variant, doctors treating Covid-19 patients at city government hospitals fear the healthcare infrastructure may get overwhelmed yet again.

At present, 134 Covid patients are hospitalised in Chandigarh and four of them are on ventilator beds. The city hospitals have currently opened 543 beds for Covid patients and 25 per cent of the total beds have been occupied by patients.

Dr Ashutosh Aggarwal, Professor of Pulmonary Medicine, PGI, who is handling the Covid dedicated ward, said, “It may not be correct to label the Omicron variant as mild, since it is highly infectious. We are seeing a rapid upsurge in the national caseload, which is much steeper than the previous wave. Given the experience in other countries, we can also ultimately expect far greater daily numbers than the previous wave.

“Most patients currently admitted to the PGI are healthcare workers, who are young or middle-aged. It is too early to comment on difference in age or other patient characteristics as compared to the previous waves,” he said.

Dr Sanjeev Palta from the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, said, “At present, all patients are on room air and do not have serious Covid symptoms. However, seeing the rapid surge in Covid cases in the recent past, it is clear that more number of people will be infected this time due to the highly contagious Omicron.

“We cannot underplay the third wave simply by calling Omicron a mild variant, added Dr Palta.

UT sees 390 fresh Covid cases

Chandigarh: The city on Friday reported 390 Covid-19 cases and recorded a positivity rate of 10.77 per cent. As many as 3,620 samples were tested in the past 24 hours. Chandigarh had recorded 331 new cases on Thursday.

319 more found infected in Mohali district

Mohali: As many as 319 fresh cases of Covid surfaced in the district during the past 24 hours, taking the total number of positive cases to 70,388. No new death was witnessed, while five patients were cured of the disease. Among the new cases, 170 surfaced in Mohali (urban), three in Dera Bassi, five each in Banur and Kurali, 12 in Gharuan, 14 in Boothgarh, 52 in Kharar and 58 in Dhakoli

172 more flyers from Italy test positive on arrival at Shri Guru Ram Das Jee Airport

Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, January 7

As many as 172 of the 285 passengers, who arrived from Italy at Shri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport here, tested positive for Covid-19 today.

Lab to be Inspected

Of the 285 passengers, 172 tested positive. These test results raise a question mark on the functioning of the lab. We have asked the airport authorities to inspect the private lab. Moreover, 75 passengers are being re-tested in other labs. — Dr Charanjit Singh, Civil Surgeon

The Rome-Amritsar flight arrived around 11.30 am today. Yesterday, of the 179 passengers on the Rome-Amritsar flight, 125 had tested positive

Many of the passengers, who tested positive, protested against the authorities alleging faulty testing system and refusing to be admitted to government hospitals. The passengers claimed that before boarding the flight, they had tested negative in Italy.

Reacting to the charges of passengers, Amritsar Civil Surgeon Dr Charanjit Singh on Friday evening ordered inspection of the private lab operating at the airport.

“Of the 285 passengers, 172 tested positive. These test results raise a question on the functioning of the laboratory that how so many passengers tested positive on the second day consecutively.

Meanwhile, the district administration today traced all Italy-returned 13 passengers, hailing from Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts, who had escaped from the airport and hospital yesterday.

Of the 13 patients, three have been admitted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital due to lack of separate rooms and bathrooms in their houses, while the rest have been isolated in their houses, said the Civil Surgeon. 

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