56 deaths, 3,119 fresh


DW BUREAU / chandigarh Fifty-six more people succumbed to coronavirus in Punjab on Thursday as 3,119 fresh cases surfaced, pushing the state's infection count to 2,63,090, according to a medical bulletin. So far, the infection has killed 7,334 in the state. The number of active cases also rose from 25,855 to 26,389. Mohali on Thursday recorded the maximum 456 cases, followed by 425 in Ludhiana, 419 in Jalandhar, 354 in Patiala and 317 in Amritsar. Among the fresh deaths, 12 were reported from Hoshiarpur, eight in Jalandhar, seven in Amritsar and six in Patiala, according to the bulletin. A total of 2,480 coronavirus patients were discharged after recovering from the infection, taking the number of cured people to 2,29,367, the bulletin said. There are 24 critical patients who are on ventilator while 386 are on oxygen support. A total of 62,35,386 samples have been collected for testing so far in the state, it said. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday urged the Centre to give flexibility to states to devise their local strategies for Covid vaccination, within the broad parameters of the Centre's approach, while seeking a review of the strategy to allow all adults in high-risk areas to be immunized, along with patients with liver and kidney disease below the age of 45. Captain Amarinder made these suggestions in a letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, immediately after the latter's VC meeting with chief ministers of all states to review the Covid and vaccination situation. During the meeting, the Chief Minister apprised the Prime Minister of the situation in the state, and also the steps taken by his government to control and manage the disease. Union Home Minister Amit Shah was also present at the meeting, during which the Chief Minister assured the Centre of all-out efforts by his government to contain and manage Covid. He stressed on the fact that the UK variant which is dominating the second wave in the state, is reported by experts to be more virulent and affecting the youth disproportionately. In his subsequent letter, the Chief Minister said his suggestions, some of which had been earlier submitted on March 17 to the PM, the Union Minister and the Union Health Minister, were based on the state government's interaction with independent experts. Amid reports of some states facing vaccine shortages, Captain Amarinder also requested the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to share the schedule for supply of vaccines with the States over the next quarter, based on their confirmed supply orders. Given that over 80 per cent positive cases found in Punjab are of the UK variant, as per early reports from central laboratories, the Chief Minister also sought strengthening of viral sequencing in the state, which has been reporting around 3000 cases per day since the last 15 days, with around 8% positivity. The state currently has around 26,000 active cases with recovery rate of 87.3 per cent, with death a matter of concern at 50-60 deaths a day. (editor@dailyworld.in)


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