Focus on districts with high infection rate: Vardhan to C'garh

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Raipur, Nov 6 (PTI) Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Friday expressed concern over the high number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in some districts of Chhattisgarh.

The winter and the festival season can lead to a spike in infections, Vardhan cautioned during a video conference with state health minister T S Singh Deo.

It is hoped that a vaccine for COVID-19 will be available in the second or third month of the next year, and besides fighting COVID-19, we need to make arrangements for vaccination drive too, the union minister said.

The meeting was streamed online.

'It is good that the fatality rate in Chhattisgarh which is currently 1.19 percent is less than the national rate of 1.48 per cent. Though the positivity rate of the state is 10.31 percent according to our data,' the Union minister said.

'By May end there were 492 cases in Chhattisgarh, which have now increased to 1,96,233 in five months,' he said.

'What we are concerned about is as many as 34.8 percent of deaths among COVID-19 patients took place within 24 hours of hospitalization in the state, while 46.2 percent of deaths took place within 72 hours of hospitalization. It is also a matter that needs to be looked at,' Vardhan said.

Seven districts -- Raipur, Durg, Rajnandgaon, Raigarh, Bilaspur, Janjgir-Champa and Korba -- have reported 61 percent of the total cases and 71 per cent of total deaths, he noted.

These seven districts along with three other districts -- Mahasamund, Balodabazar and Dhamtari -- have cumulatively reported 81.2 percent of total deaths in the state, and a focus on containing the transmission and reducing the mortality in these areas is needed, he said.

Singh Deo pointed out during the meeting that the state saw a rise in coronavirus cases after the inter-state movement of people resumed.

22,000 to 25,000 samples are being tested daily in the state and efforts are being made to provide oxygen supply facilities to maximum beds in hospitals, he said.

A door-to-door community survey was conducted from October 2 to October 12 to identify people with symptoms of coronavirus, the state health minister added. PTI TKP KRK KRK