IIM Lucknow, Safdarjung Hospital put off events on Covid outbreak.. Image Source: IANS News

Lucknow, May 7 : After the spread of Covid-19 in urban pockets, the infection is gathering pace across rural areas in western Uttar Pradesh with villages in Muzaffarnagar district being the worst-hit. However, the number of villages impacted is yet to be officially included in the data compiled by the state government.

After the recent UP panchayat elections, the situation in the villages has worsened resulting in a large number of deaths. Most of the people are suffering from high fever. People are also facing breathing problems in certain areas. Patients infected with the virus have not yet been tested in most rural areas. Their overall health condition would be known only after undergoing testing.

The number of newly infected Covid-19 patients has been more during the last two to three days in different districts of western Uttar Pradesh. The number of patients discharged from hospitals is way less in number. On Thursday, 1,167 patients were identified in Meerut while only 750 were discharged. As many as 1,227 new patients were reported in Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida) while 1,027 were discharged. In Ghaziabad, 715 were discharged from hospitals as compared to 953 new Covid-19 patients. As many as 1,303 new patients were found in Moradabad while 907 were discharged.

In Muzaffarnagar, 704 new patients were found and only 356 were discharged. Similarly, in Saharanpur, 611 patients were discharged from hospital as compared to 687 new Covid-19 cases. On Thursday, 21 patients died in Muzaffarnagar, 15 in Ghaziabad, 12 in Meerut and 13 in Gautam Budh Nagar.

Compared to the first wave of the pandemic where the number of cases was limited, the ongoing wave has spread rapidly in tehsils and rural areas. According to the statistics of the state Health Department as on May 6, 63 cases were reported in Budhana tehsil, 94 in Morna tehsil, 175 in Muzaffarnagar Rural, 264 in Muzzafarnagar Urban, 59 in Khatauli tehsil and 57 cases in Jansath tehsil which has also reported 21 deaths. The state government has asked every village to undergo Rapid Antigen tests which would reveal the data on infected patients.

A social worker requesting anonymity said, "The havoc due to Covid-19 began in Muzaffarnagar district after the recent UP panchayat elections. Rural areas have been more affected. People are suffering from high fever in these areas. In Budhana tehsil and Khatauli area, a lot of infected people have been detected. Deaths are also taking place at a rapid rate. Many teachers and other employees have died of the infection. Many patients admitted are in a critical condition. Nearly 350 teachers are down with the infection. Nearly 20 primary and junior high school teachers have died due to the infection." Muzzafarnagar Additional Chief Medical Officer VK Singh said, "The infection is surging in Khatauli, Jansath, Muzaffarnagar and urban areas. Survey teams have been deployed in these areas. 50 teams are going door-to-door in the urban areas. One rapid response team (RRT) each is working with every five teams which includes a doctor. Each team visits a house to see the Covid-19 patient. If the patient's condition is normal they advise him to remain indoors. If the patient is critical, he is examined by doctors of the RRT team. In rural areas where the patient's condition is alarming, the RRT team provides treatment. 890 antigen samples were taken in rural areas, of which 27 samples tested positive. The patients who have tested positive are placed in home quarantine. There is widespread shortage of staff. Beds have been arranged in the community health centres to deal with the alarming situation."

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