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Jharkhand sees 500 new Covid cases, one death

Doctors sound caution, site rapid rise in numbers as indication of a third wave brewing

Our Correspondent   |   Ranchi   |   Published 31.12.21, 01:26 PM

Jharkhand registered close 500 cases of new infections and one casualty in the last 24 hours with capital Ranchi accounting for more than 50 per cent of the case load, according to a state health department bulletin issued late on Thursday night.

The total number of active cases stands at 1,371 after rapid increases over the past week. On Thursday, a 64-year-old woman succumbed to a heart attack while being treated for Covid-19 at a private hospital in Ranchi, officials said. She is the thrid person to die of Covid this month.

Ranchi alone registered 246 infections in the last 24 hours, followed by Koderma (56), East Singhbhum (42), Bokaro (29), Dhanbad (28) and Deoghar (13). Even though the state government is not calling the current spread of infections as a third wave, health department officials and doctors on the field maintained that there were clear indications of another wave and called for stringent measures to try and control the situation.

A doctor at sadar hospital in Ranchi said, “On December 24, the state’s count of single-day infections was 55. This rose to 60 on December 26, followed by 138 on December 27, 155 on December 28, 344 on December 29 and close to 500 on December 30. 

"Unlike the previous trend, we are seeing a rise in cases in our state too, almost at par with big cities. During the two previous waves, cases in smaller states like ours peaked once big cities neared saturation levels because there were certain curbs in the movement of people along with other regulations. The situation is different this time with no curbs anywhere, mainly on movement of people.”

The doctor feared that with Delta and Omicron variants currently in circulation, the next few days will be crucial for Jharkhand. “While studies say that Omicron may be less severe and requiring less hospitalisation, we must not forget that Delta is still very much active in the state. A dozen samples sent for genome sequencing about a month back revealed three Delta infections. Having said this, we suspect Omicron too may have made its way into Jharkhand considering the rapid doubling of cases in recent days,” he said.

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