Third wave of Covid-19: Patna leads urban areas in transmissibility

PATNA The third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the first fortnight, mainly affected urban areas of Bihar, with Patna reporting 38.5% (13,927) of the 34,084 total active cases in the state, state health officials said Friday.

Patna also recorded the highest 32% in the state on Thursday (2,116 cases) of the total 6,541 new infections, with the state’s highest positivity rate of 21.03% during the week ending January 13, Pratyaya Amrit, Bihar’s additional chief secretary, Health, said during a virtual press conference on Friday.

Saharsa had a test positivity rate of 4.80%, followed by Muzaffarpur 4.73% and Jehanabad 4.23%, he said.

Muzaffarpur (427 cases) and Gaya (132) were among the other two major urban districts in terms of high numbers of active Covid-19 cases, followed by Saharsa and Munger, which were relatively less urban.

“Urban centers like Patna show higher virus transmissibility than rural areas in Bihar, as does Mumbai in Maharashtra,” Amrit said.

“The number of daily new infections has gone up and down in Patna. It reported 2,566 cases on January 10, 2,200 on January 11, 2,017 on January 12, 2,275 on January 13, and 2,116 cases on January 14. It is actually too early to predict the trend of the virus. We are, however, following the trend closely,” he said.

“Only 1% of active cases have required hospitalization, while the remaining 99% are in home isolation. This is an indication that the effect of the virus has been mild so far. Although it is necessary to be extremely careful and follow proper Covid behavior, there is nothing to worry about at this point,” Amrit said.

He said the Home Isolation Tracker (HIT) app for monitoring Covid-19 patients has been made functional again.

Explaining how the HIT app works, Executive Director of State Health Society, Bihar (SHSB), Sanjay Kumar Singh, said, “The app, which has been installed on the tablets of Auxiliary Midwives (ANM) and Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) who will visit people in home isolation, retrieve data directly from the Covid-19 portal. The relevant healthcare worker then visits the patient to check the temperature and oxygen saturation level, the readings of which are fed into the app. If these parameters deteriorate, an alarm is triggered and the patient is taken to the hospital,” said Sanjay Kumar.

Speaking about vaccination against Covid-19, Singh said 99% of the target population of 6.18 crores in the state took the first dose while 90% of those eligible for the second dose took the shots.


    Ruchir writes about health, aviation, energy, and a myriad of other issues. A former member of TOI, he worked both on Desk and in reporting. He has over 25 years of experience in broadcast and print journalism in Assam, Jharkhand and Bihar.
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