Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday directed an expert group headed by Dr Gagandeep Kang to start studying the effectiveness of vaccines in the context of the new Covid-19 variants.

The month-wise whole genome sequencing has shown that while in March, 95 per cent of the problem was due to the UK variant; in April 2021, the Delta variant starting increasing and by May it had become dominant, he said. It was also a matter of concern that the Brazil variant (B1) had increased from one per cent in April and now stood at 8 per cent, said the CM at a Covid review meet on Tuesday.

Adviser Dr KK Talwar said an expert group was being constituted to analyse the audit reports of patients who had been on ventilator during the second wave so as to prepare for future. Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan said the genome sampling might be tried at Patiala’s Rajindra hospital.

The Chief Minister also ordered tracking of all 441 black fungus (mucormycosis) cases in the state. Of these, 51 patients have been cured and 308 are undergoing treatment.

While 388 cases were from Punjab, the remaining are from other states, Health Secretary Hussan Lal told the meeting. There was an adequate supply of drugs for treatment of the disease, he added.

The CM directed the Health and Medical Education Departments to continue testing at about 50,000 a day. Contact tracing and testing must be maintained at 15 per positive patient, he said, while stressing the need to strengthen monitoring and management of home isolation cases.

The Corona Mukt Pendu Abhiyan must continue, said Captain Amarinder, adding that almost 1.6 crore individuals (38 lakh households) had already been screened under the campaign, which had resulted in identification of 6,982 positive patients. He, however, asked the officials concerned to ensure ‘thikri pehras’ to contain positivity rate.

Source: 15 June, 2021, The Tribune