The reason for the continuing upsurge in cases in Bhopal, say district officials, is the backlog of samples, whose test reports are coming in now.
On April 20, 21 and 22, if Indore, the State’s worst hit city, on an average recorded 16 cases every day, Bhopal saw 30 cases every day. The rate of growth in the count for Indore was 1.75%, while for Bhopal it was 12.3%.
The upward trend would continue for five-six days, and the city’s tally will hit a peak in around three days, said Tarun Kumar Pithode, Bhopal District Collector. “We had collected 10,000 samples, of which results of half the samples are still pending,” he said.
Samples were extensively collected during a recent survey for influenza-like illnesses and severe acute respiratory illnesses. Besides, health workers had collected samples of high-risk persons, who either reside in hotspots or are primary contacts of patients.
The virus was not transmitted to newer areas, with most recent cases being detected in Jahangirabad and T.T. Nagar, the city’s hotspots, where containment areas had been drawn up. Cases in the city touched 323 on Thursday.
Around ten days ago, when Indore’s case fatality rate was close to 10%, the highest in the country, the situation there was worse as 20% more cases were reported every day, whereas in Bhopal the rate was 12.9%.
Akash Tripathi, Indore Divisional Commissioner, said in the coming days the surge was expected to hit a plateau in Indore, which has the third most number of cases after New Delhi and Mumbai, as newer cases were majorly primary contacts of patients, already in quarantine.
Yet, the unrelenting uptick in the number of deaths in the neighbouring districts of Indore, Dewas, Khargone and Ujjain, which in a combined form make up 85% of the 85 deaths in the State, is confounding health experts. Indore authorities are sending swab samples to the National Institute of Virology, to ascertain if a more virulent form of virus strain was proving more fatal.
As of April 23, as many as 28 districts of Madhya Pradesh were prey to the virus, with Indore, having 945 cases, bearing the maximum load. So far, 203 patients have recovered from the illness. In order to stop the virus’ spread further, the State government has identified 461 containment areas where cases have been detected.
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