Punjab, it seems, is staring at the second Covid-19 wave. The state is witnessing a steady rise in the daily number of coronavirus cases, especially since a week. With the state reporting 389 fresh cases — highest this year — on Monday, the total number of active cases in the State has reached 3,167. Punjab had 2,101 active cases on February 1 — an increase of 51 per cent.
Among the districts, Jalandhar reported the maximum fresh cases (54), followed by 49 from SAS Nagar (Mohali), 38 from Hoshiarpur, 37 each from Ludhiana and Amritsar, 32 from SBS Nagar (Nawanshahr), 26 from Kapurthala, 22 from Patiala, among others.
With this, the total number of positive cases reported till date in the state has reached 1,78,847.
On Monday, the state reported 15 deaths — three each from Jalandhar and Ludhiana, two each from Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur, while one casualty each was reported from Amritsar, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Patiala, and Tarn Taran.
The state’s fatality rate continued to hover above three since more than three months, notwithstanding the remarkable dip in the daily cases. On Monday, the state’s death toll reached 5,769 at the rate of 3.23 percent.
As the state has eased all COVID restrictions, and opened all educational institutions, shopping complexes, cinema halls, multiplexes, eateries, among others, considering the falling numbers, high number of cases were being reported from various parts of the state, especially from the schools.
In fact, the state’s health officials attributed the hike in COVID-19 cases to the casual attitude of the people and not adhering to the safety protocols like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, among others.The data released by the state’s Health Department indicated that Punjab is recording daily cases between 200 and 350 for the last several days. Since February 1, the state has reported nearly 5,000 cases till date.“People are not following COVID-19 safety precautions like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing which is the main reason behind the surge in cases in the state," said Rajesh Bhaskar, Punjab's nodal officer for Covid-19.Notably, some students and teachers, testing positive for the coronavirus in Nawanshahr, Ludhiana, and other districts has also contributed to the infection tally.