198 new cases swell active caseload to 494 in Sikkim none of whom is severely ill

Summit Report

Gangtok, 11 Jan:

The second wave offered Sikkim only a brief pause, and the third wave is showing signs of building up. What started as the detection of 27 new cases last Thursday, has swelled in the five days since and delivered 198 fresh cases of Covid-19 in Sikkim today.

As per the Daily Report of Covid-19 in Sikkim released by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme of Health Department this morning, these 198 cases were picked up from the screening of 1,690 samples in the previous 24 hours to give Sikkim a daily test positivity rate of 11.7%.

There has been a substantial spike in the number of tests being conducted. Today's 1,690 tests are three-times the 411 samples screened a day earlier. Incidentally, yesterday had also given Sikkim its all-time high as far as test positivity is concerned. The 112 new cases reported yesterday coming in at a daily test positivity rate of 27.2%.

10 Jan was clearly an aberration because the current weekly test positivity rate average has clocked in at 13.1%. As per the IDSP report, Sikkim's cumulative test positivity rate average currently stands at 11.6%.

With today's spike, there are now 494 active cases of Covid in the State. This number, a little over a fortnight ago, on 20 December last month, had dropped below 100.

What should provide some comfort is the fact that nearly all the current infections have resulted in only mild symptoms.

As per the IDSP report, of the 494 active cases, a staggering 488 are either asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic. The same report also informs that the remaining 6 Covid patients have only moderate symptoms and that there is currently no patient with severe symptoms.

While this information is reassuring, it is inconsistent with the hospitalisation numbers. While the number of Covid patients in hospital is still relatively low, as per the details of positive cases provided in the IDSP Report, there should be no one in hospital since the worst infection has led to only moderate symptoms.

That said, of the 494 active cases, 33 are in hospital, five of whom are in ICU. Official clarification could not be secured till the time of going to print, but in several places, hospitals have been advised to admit at risk or patients with co-morbidities even if they do not present severe symptoms.

Of those in hospital, four are under 18 years of age.

Currently, only 2.7% of the isolation beds with Oxygen support are occupied. Sikkim has 223 such beds available, of which six are occupied at present.

Of the 100 isolation beds without Oxygne support, 22 are occupied as are 5 of the 48 ICU beds [without ventilators]. All the 48 ICU beds appointed with ventilator support are currently empty.

The break-up of the new cases reveals that 96 were detected in RT-PCR testing of 329 samples, while 102 people tested positive in rapid antigen testing of 1,360 samples.

Clearly, the State is carrying out many more RAT tests than RT-PCR, and this is probably at the border check-posts where lay people arriving without RT-PCR negative reports have to undergo RAT screening.

Of the 198 new cases, 141 were registered in East District, 28 in West District, 26 in South District and 03 in North District.

In the meantime, the state also recorded three new recoveries, taking Sikkim’s count of recovered cases to 31,744 giving Sikkim a current recovery rate of 97.2%.

On the other hand, no Covid deaths were reported in the past 24 hours and the toll continues to hold at 410.

Also yesterday, 1,350 children aged between 15 to 18 years received their first dose of Covaxin. A total of 16,991 children in this age group have received the first dose of Covaxin thus far in the State.

In the 18+ category, 826 people received their Covishield jabs yesterday, 611 of whom completed their vaccination schedule with the second dose and 215 received their first jab.