Cases of Covid-19 have continued to rise in Jharkhand, especially capital Ranchi, amid the festive fervour of Diwali and Chhath, records with the health department highlighted on Sunday, indicating that complacency during Chhath may lead to a further spike in cases.
As per latest data compiled by the National Health Mission (NHM), the count of active Covid cases in the state has jumped from 97 on November 1 to 140 on Sunday, while the active caseload in Ranchi almost doubled and reached 76 during this period. On November 1, there were 42 active cases of Covid-19 in Ranchi.
“It is best to stay careful during this period and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour during festivities,” said Ranchi civil surgeon Dr Vinod Kumar, admitting that letting your guard down during Chhath or upcoming festivals may lead to a further spike in cases.
Even though the active caseload of Covid-19 has been on the rise, negligible cases of severe symptoms were reported in hospitals in and around Ranchi, sources said, claiming that vaccination could be responsible for limiting symptoms of the viral infection here.
As per government data, the state reported zero Covid casualties in the past one week despite a continuous rise in infections. However, it would be wrong to interpret that vaccinated people were completely immune to the virus, warned doctors.
“Even a vaccinated person can get infected by coronavirus. The symptoms may not be severe in vaccinated individuals, but they can still transmit the virus to other vulnerable people,” said the Ranchi civil surgeon.
As per government data, Ranchi alone accounted for more than 50 per cent of the active Covid cases in Jharkhand. There were 21 active cases in East Singhbhum and 13 in Ramgarh on Sunday, while most of the remaining districts had less than 10 active cases.
The Hemant Soren-led Jharkhand government has allowed Chhath rituals at public water bodies this year, and the administration in all 24 districts have been working on plans to ensure safety of devotees during the festival.
Thousands of devotees visit water bodies across Jharkhand during Chhath and offer Arghya, a holy ritual of offering water to the Sun god. Chhath ghats are usually overcrowded during the festival, which is likely to make it difficult for the administration to maintain social distancing, sources said. This year, Chhath will be celebrated on November 10 across the country.