Chandigarh: Besides posting the highest Covid-19 recovery rate of 91 per cent in the country, Punjab has also done exceedingly well in keeping all critical mortality rate amongst the lowest at 1.3 per cent, with majority of those fatalities resulting from co-morbidity.
Out of 40 deaths occurring mostly in patients aged over 50, 31 persons (77 per cent) were afflicted with serious underlying illness like end-stage kidney disease and cancer and HIV, besides uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure, said Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare Anurag Agarwal.
Chronic illnesses like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and obesity were major associated illnesses as contributing factors in the remaining 23 per cent of cases, he said in a statement, pointing out there were a few cases which had no underlying chronic illness.
Deaths in most cases have occurred in patients who were already suffering from serious illness which might have led to mortality in natural course of events, he said.
As many as 1,918 patients have already fully recovered out of total 2,106 positive cases reported so far.
Underlining scientific, systematic and aggressive contact tracing coupled with the effective enforcement of lockdown, Agarwal said doubling rate of Covid-19 in Punjab has been about 100 days for last few days, which is encouraging.
In all cases, where patients are found to be Covid positive irrespective of the underlying disease, as per ICMR guidelines the death is counted as a Covid death, Agarwal pointed out underlining state’s mortality rate is significantly lower than the national average of three per cent.
Further, in many cases samples of dead have been taken some of which have turned out to be positive and all these deaths have been taken as Covid-19 deaths.
This was done so as not to miss out on contact tracing of possible positive cases, Agarwal added.
Expert committee headed by K.K. Talwar, a former director of the PGI Hospital in Chandigarh, also guided the state to analyse and review the cases of deaths and take corrective action accordingly.
The review of the death cases were also taken up by the expert committee in details and update the doctors working in the state.
Eight patients presented with end-stage kidney disease and were on dialysis, which in itself is life-threatening, besides nine patients had uncontrolled diabetes, again a serious condition, Director Health Services Avneet Kaur said.
Few cases were severely immunocompromised as they were HIV positive.
Such patients are very prone to acquire infections and have little capacity to fight with these infections, she added.