Coronavirus second wave: Unusual spike in death rate spells trouble for Punjab

This is not the first time that the increasing number of Covid-19 related deaths has put the spotlight on the state of Punjab

Amidst the second countrywide wave of Coronavirus, the most worrying picture seems to be that of Maharashtra which is contributing to more than half of the national tally, however, the Covid-19 scenario in Punjab is fast getting out of hand. Bucking the trend, the state of Punjab is the only state which has registered a higher death rate in the second wave of Coronavirus in comparison to the first wave of the pandemic. The usual trend seen across states is that the death rate as well as the severity of symptoms among patients is lower during the second wave in comparison to the first wave of Coronavirus. In the last two consecutive days, the state has reported the second highest number of deaths despite having a comparatively smaller caseload. While the state reported 38 deaths on Tuesday, it reported 35 deaths on Wednesday. Maharashtra which has been reporting the highest number of cases in the country naturally has also reported the highest number of Covid19 related casualties, the Indian Express reported.

High Covid-19 fatality rate in Punjab
This is not the first time that the increasing number of Covid-19 related deaths has put the spotlight on the state of Punjab. By the end of the year 2020, the state had registered a total of 1.66 lakh cases of Coronavirus and 5341 Covid-19 related casualties. From these statistics, the total fatality rate comes out to be 3.21 percent. In comparison, the fatality rate average of the whole country was about 1.45 percent while the fatality rate of Maharashtra which was the worst affected state case wise was 2.62.

More worrying is the fatality rate recorded in the state since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic which started from the 2nd week of February. The state recorded a total of 8706 new Coronavirus cases and it is only since the beginning of March that the state started recording 1000 new cases a day. Between February 15 and March 15, a total of 392 Covid-19 related deaths were reported which translates to a fatality rate of 4.5 percent.

Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, who is the nodal officer for Covid-19 in the state told the Indian Express that the higher death rate in the state could be on account of a large size of the population suffering from diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity among others. Dr Bhaskar further said that the state has also been very clean and forthright on reporting Covid-19 related deaths in the state by even including those deaths in which Covid-19 infection is merely incidental.

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