'77% Punjab COVID-19 deaths had end-stage comorbidity'

'77 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in Punjab had end-stage comorbidity'

 Medics take samples from pregnant women for COVID-19 swab tests, during the ongoing nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus , in Patiala, Sunday, May 17, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Thirty one out of the total 40 persons who died of COVID-19 in Punjab so far were suffering from other serious ailments, officials said on Thursday.

“Out of 40 unfortunate instances so far occurring mostly in patients, 31 persons (77 per cent) were afflicted with serious underlying ailments like end-stage kidney disease and cancer, HIV, besides uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure,” said Punjab Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Anurag Agarwal in an official release here.

Punjab has reported mortality rate of 1.3 per cent, release said, adding it has also reported 91 per cent recovery rate in coronavirus patients.

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In most cases, the patients who died were already suffering from serious illnesses which might have led to the mortality in the natural course of events, Agarwal added.

As many as 1,918 patients, out of total 2,106 positive cases reported so far, have fully recovered, he said.

Underlining scientific, systematic and aggressive contact tracing coupled with the effective enforcement of lockdown, Agarwal further stated that the doubling rate of COVID-19 in Punjab had been about 100 days for the last few days which was very encouraging.

In all cases, where patients are found to be COVID-positive irrespective of the underlying disease, the death is counted as Covid death as per ICMR guidelines, said Agarwal, while pointing out that the state's mortality rate was significantly lower than the national average of three per cent.

Moreover, in many cases, the samples of dead bodies were taken with some of them turning positive and all these deaths were taken as Covid-19 deaths.

This was done not to miss on contact tracing of possible positive cases, Agarwal said.

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