Tribune press service
Jalandhar, December 19
A week after the first international traveler (an Italian returnee) to Jalandhar tested positive for Covid-19, the district health department maintains that the Covid-19 scenario in the district is well monitored and under control. At present, there is no presumption regarding a dramatic increase in the number of cases in the coming days.
The civilian hospital has adequate beds and there was also some increase after the previous wave. So far, of the 32 random samples sent for genome sequencing, all have tested positive only for the Delta variant. The recently positive traveller’s report is awaited. The Omicron variant may be more infectious, but it is less virulent than the Delta variant. Therefore, there is no need to worry. – Ranjit Ghotra, civil surgeon
While the Covid model panel has expressed apprehension of a slight peak in India expected in February in view of the Omicron cases, no case has so far been reported to Jalandhar.
While the oldest 32 randomly sampled positive Covid cases tested for the variant (genome sequencing) were found positive with the Delta variant, the report from the traveller’s genome sequencing that tested positive about a week ago has not yet arrived.
In total, since the appearance of the Omicron variant, no less than 535 international travelers have returned to the district, whose samples of no less than 185 have been sent for testing. Among them, only one has tested positive and is in quarantine. Family members of the same travelers had tested negative.
Meanwhile, in terms of bed capacity, Jalandhar Civil Hospital has up to 170 level 2 beds and 56 level 3 beds. The number of level 3 beds will have an addition of 14 after recent additions. The civilian hospital has 18 ventilators. A PSA oxygen plant, with a production capacity of 150 bottles per day, was also installed in the infrastructures of the Civil Hospital after the second wave of Covid-19.
Speaking about the preparations before the expected peak of the Omicron variant in February, civil surgeon Ranjit Ghotra said: âThe civilian hospital has adequate bed capacity and there has been some increase after the previous wave as well. So far, of the 32 random samples sent for genome sequencing, all have tested positive only for the Delta variant. The recently positive traveller’s report is yet to be expected. The Omicron variant may be more infectious, but it is less virulent than the Delta variant. So there is no need to worry. “
Health ministry sources have expressed concern that the Omicron variant is already in the Punjab. Notably, gatherings, weddings, and crowds in the markets continue to thrive, even amid apprehensions of the new variant. A senior doctor said: âNRIs continue to pour in and weddings continue to see large gatherings with most people without masks. The same goes for marketplaces. Only airport passengers are screened. All other modes of transport bring thousands of travelers every day. So the Omicron variant may already exist. Since it is asymptomatic, it’s hard to tell. It can cause a marginal peak, otherwise it is less virulent.