By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 23 May: Corona infection figures in Uttarakhand are now gathering unprecedented and explosive pace with cases doubling in less than 7 days. Saturday turned out to be the worst day when 92 new cases were reported in the state. Of them 55 new Corona positive cases turned out to be from district Nainital itself. Rudraprayag which was the only district till this morning to be untouched by Corona today reported 3 cases and that makes each and every district of the state affected from Corona. This explosive jump in the figures should be a major cause of concern for the state government as well as for people in general.
This explosion in figures is a grim reminder of the fact that cities like Delhi, Mumbai might be having much larger number of infected persons than is being reported as large number of persons returning from these cities to Uttarakhand are turning out to be Corona positive. Also the state needs to push up the testing rate very significantly and not just remain dependent on thermal screening only as there could be large number of asymptomatic cases returning to the state. The state needs to boost its quarantine facilities to accommodate much more number of people than are being accommodated at present. While the state is claiming that out of the 2.5 lakhs wanting to return to the state, 1.5 lakhs have already left, unofficially there could be around 3 to 4 lakhs more wanting to return to the state in coming days and who might not have registered themselves for return so far. So a big influx of people is still expected. Therefore utmost care and caution are now required. However, what is significant to note is the fact that so far local community transmission of the deadly virus has not begun in Uttarakhand. Most of the new cases are related to those returning to state from red zones like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Punjab. On Saturday too, 72 fresh cases were reported positive till 8:00 pm. Of the 72 fresh cases reported today, 55 were from district Nainital, 8 from Dehradun, 3 each from Udham Singh Nagar and Rudraprayag, 2 from Pauri and 1 from Haridwar.
Among the fresh cases, two are medical students from AIIMS. So far 59 persons have recovered from Corona infection. Unfortunately one Corona patient admitted at AIIMS Rishikesh who hailed from Bareilly in UP died late last night taking the total COVID-19 death toll in the state to 2 now though official bulletin claimed the cause of death to be respiratory failure.
The woman who died last night was a resident of Bijnore and was undergoing treatment for cancer in AIIMS for past two months. The death of the woman has been confirmed by AIIMS director Professor Ravikant. Coronavirus infection has also been confirmed in one pregnant woman whose report turned out to be positive and she is a resident of Barrage Colony Rishikesh. She had returned with her husband from Delhi on 13 May and both have turned out to be Corona positive.
Director NHM Dr Yugal Kishore Pant briefed the media in respect of the Corona situation while ACEO of SDMA Ridhim Aggarwal (IPS) briefed the media in respect of the return of Uttarakhandis from other states. She claimed that 2.5 lakh persons had registered themselves for return to the state so far from various parts of the country and of them 1.5 lakhs had already returned adding that return of the migrants was dependent on agreement between both the states from where the migrants had to come and the state to which they belonged and wished to return to.