The state registered 5,803 new cases, the highest so far, after 72,197 tests the previous day. For the state health authorities it was a double shock on Tuesday as the daily cases touched the highest mark of 6,258 and the death toll touched 85. The overall positivity rate also went up to 9.13%, though the number of tests came down to 68,572 on Tuesday. A total of 72,197 tests were conducted on Monday.
From the 88.29% recovery rate recorded the previous day, the corresponding figure slowed down to 86.06% on Tuesday. The Kamrup (Metropolitan) district continued to show the highest infection rate despite several municipal wards being brought under containment. The highest 1,585 people were found positive on Tuesday in the district encompassing Guwahati city areas.
Other districts where a high number of positive cases was detected on Tuesday were Kamrup (527), Dibrugarh (507) and Nagaon (313). After 4,409 patients were discharged from hospital on Tuesday, the number of active cases in the state was 39,264- up from 37,500 active cases as on Monday.
“People are not turning up for tests. This is the biggest worry. Last minute treatment is not enough against such a virus. Even people without comorbid conditions are dying,” said Assam NHM director Lakshmanan S.
Hospital authorities are blaming home isolation of the seriously ill for increasing the Covid-related death toll. Many patients, who died in Guwahati hospitals, succumbed to the virus within 16 hours of hospitalization. On the other hand, a health source said that home confinement could be the need of the hour as it could restrict the movement of members of the household. “Around 60% of the deaths that are being reported in the state are from the 50+ age group, with or without comorbidities. This is an indication of the need for home confinement,” said the source.
It came as a shock for the health officials at Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) here, when they came to know that some of the patients, who succumbed to the infection, had not even got their Covid tests done till hospitalization. “More than 50% of the deaths, witnessed at GMCH lately, are due to delayed admission. We have seen patients who died even within three hours of getting admitted. For those, who died within 16 hours and came with extreme severity, life-saving drugs like Remdesivir didn’t matter,” GMCH principal Dr Achyut Baishya told TOI.
He said that due to lack of awareness, patients are knocking on hospital doors when oxygen saturation levels drop below 50. “There is no point of recovery for patients who do not report at hospitals till the oxygen level goes down to an extremely low point. Oxygen dependence has been the most serious concern of the second wave,” Baishya reiterated. He said fear of being detected with Covid infection, has caused many patients to cover up symptoms like fever, which indicates virus infection.
Health officials are keeping their fingers crossed about the positive impact of declaring several wards as containment zones. In Kamrup (Metropolitan) district, 1,500 daily cases are being detected. This accounts for nearly 25% of the total cases detected daily in the state. Health officials are closely monitoring the situation here, which is going to be the key factor in the state’s overall Covid scenario.