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Punjab breaks Covid-19 chain in worst-hit district: Minister

Chandigarh, April 16 (IANS) Punjab has succeeded in breaking the chain of coronavirus in one of the worst hit districts where the number of patients has been frozen at 19 since March 26, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said on Thursday.

No new positive case has been reported from SBS Nagar, formerly known as Nawanshahr, from where the state’s first casualty was reported. The deceased was blamed for spreading the virus in the district.

The minister said that four districts have been declared as hotspots by the Government of India based on the number of cases. These are Mohali, SBS Nagar, Jalandhar and Pathankot. These are districts where more than 15 cases of Covid-19 have been reported so far.

He said now Punjab is in the second stage and to deal with the crisis, frontline teams of the Health Department are constantly working on a war footing to trace all the contacts of the affected patients, which is the only way to curb the spread of this highly contagious disease.

“As of today, we have one of the foremost example of SBS Nagar where the state government has successfully broken the chain of coronavirus and the number of patients have frozen to 19 since March 26,” the minister said in a statement.

Of the 19 cases, 17 have been cured, while one patient — Baldev Singh – has died. The lone patient would also recover soon.

About the containment plan, Sidhu said wherever there are maximum cases, the whole area within a radius of 3 km around the positive patients is sealed and no entry or exit of people is being allowed. Also, surveillance is done for searching symptomatic persons.

If anyone is found positive for Covid-19, he/she is immediately rushed to the isolation centre. All the goods needed by the locals are provided at their doorsteps.

Sidhu said a similar strategy has been adopted in 24 hotspots of nine districts identified by the state, while special attention is being given to Mohali and Jalandhar, where till date higher number of cases has been found.

He said the state has 186 cases, while 5,193 people have been tested out of which 4,404 reports returned negative. Twenty-nine people have been cured. Most of the cases are related to foreign travel returnees or their contacts.

Fourteen people have succumbed to the dreaded virus so far.

–IANS

vg/arm

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