2,387 new COVID cases, 32 deaths in Punjab

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Chandigarh, Mar 18 (PTI) Punjab witnessed 2,387 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, while 32 more people succumbed to the contagion, the Health Department said.

The infection tally climbed to 2.05 lakh and toll also rose to 6,204, as per bulletin.

The active cases also increased to 14,366 from 13,320 a day ago.

Jalandhar reported a maximum of 467 cases, Ludhiana 237, Amritsar 230, Hoshiarpur 216, Mohali 214, Patiala 187 and Rupnagar 165.

A total of 1,291 coronavirus patients were discharged, taking the number of recoveries to 1,85 lakh. There are 21 critical patients who are on ventilator support, while 274 are on oxygen support, the bulletin said.

A total of 54.94 lakh samples have been collected for testing so far in the state, it said.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced a two-hour extension in the night curfew in the state's nine districts worst affected by coronavirus.

Night curfew will now be in place from 9 pm to 5 am, instead of 11 pm to 5 am, in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mohali, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Rupnagar.

Meanwhile, Chandigarh reported a sharp surge in COVID-19 cases as 211 more people contracted the infection in the past 24-hours, pushing the total to 23,803.

No coronavirus-related death was reported on Thursday and the toll stands at 359. The number of active cases rose to 1,466 on Thursday, as per bulletin.

Seventy-five patients were discharged, taking the number of recoveries to 21,978. A total of 2,86,187 samples have been taken for testing so far, as per bulletin.

Chandigarh Administrator V P Singh Badnore directed that the number of tests, particularly through the RT-PCR method, should be enhanced.

He advised hospital authorities to ensure that patients going for OPD consultation should preferably get themselves tested for COVID either from government or private facilities.

This will reduce risk of the spread of corona infection in hospitals' premises and will prevent unnecessary risk to health workers and other patients, according to a government statement.

The administrator directed the municipal corporation commissioner to intensify contact tracing and enhance sanitisation in the city. PTI CHS HMB