Doubling of cases at PGI in week a concern: Prof Ram

PGIMER’s Department of Virology has started whole genome sequencing of coronavirus to detect variants

PGIMER director Jagat Ram Tuesday said the institute had witnessed the doubling of Covid-19 cases in a week’s time which was a cause for concern.

“We at PGI are witnessing an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients. We have 21 positive patients who are seriously ill and are being treated here, and though the rise is marginal, the doubling of cases, from nine to 21 in a week’s time, is a cause for concern. Nineteen of these patients have associated diseases and comorbidities and two patients without any comorbidity are admitted here,” Prof Ram told The Indian Express.

While eight cases are from Punjab, six from Himachal and one from Chandigarh, the rest are from other states. Prof Ram said that with cases rising in Himachal and Punjab, the city cannot be complacent, as the increase, which can be attributed to Delta and Delta Plus variants, must not be ignored. “We must not forget the crisis we all faced during the second wave and cannot be lax and ignore Covid- appropriate behaviour, which many are doing. With the opening of public places, tourist areas, educational institutes, there is an urgent need for personal responsibility and vaccination, for the increase cannot be taken lightly. Also, the upcoming festive season needs to be considered and this is our golden chance to get rid of this virus. At PGI, we have achieved 97 to 98 per cent vaccination of healthcare workers, and studies show that the vaccination reduces the seriousness of the infection and also mortality,” Prof Ram said.

The Institute has tested 59,808 samples since the beginning of July to date and the positivity rate is 0.2% for Chandigarh, with 11 cases of mucormycosis. As part of the sero-survey for paediatric cases of 6-18 years age group, 2,695 samples have been tested and results indicate that 67% children in sectors, 75% in rural and 76% in colony areas have antibodies and the overall positivity rate is 72.7%.
Prof Ram said that the Department of Virology at PGI has started whole genome sequencing of coronavirus to detect variants and how the virus is mutating and evolving. “The department is analysing 40 positive samples, and the results should be out in a week’s time. It was important to do genome sequencing here, as sending samples to Pune and Delhi takes too much time, and it is important that we progress as per the need of the hour,”
he said.

Source: Read Full Article