Fear amongst patients and their delayed approach to the health department for treatment is stated to be a major reason for the high mortality rate of Covid-19 patients in the district, which is highest in the state.

While Meerut is fifth in the state in the list of Covid 19 patients, it is second after Agra in the number of deaths whereas with 7.18 % it has the highest Covid mortality rate in the state. There are total of 905 Covid cases in Meerut with 65 deaths.

This surely is a matter of concern for the administrative and health officials in Meerut who attribute delayed arrival of suspected Covid patients to the hospital for treatment as one of the leading reasons behind this high mortality rate.

According to Dr Rajkumar, Chief medical officer (CMO) Meerut, the major reason for high mortality rate here is the late arrival of patients in Covid hospital. He said that patients are afraid of coming to hospitals and many of these go for self-medication initially.

By the time they come to Covid hospital for treatment, it is already too late and this results in their death, said the CMO adding that the situation in Covid hospitals, however, have improved considerably and there are no complaints from anywhere.

It may be noted that initially there were some complaints about treatment and facilities in the Covid ward of the Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Medical College hospital in Meerut after which Dr Ved Prakash from KGMU Lucknow was sent by the state government as its OSD here. Also, the Principal of LLRM Medical College was transferred.

After sometimes, Dr Ved Prakash was replaced by Dr Sharad Chand also of KGMU. Dr Chand has been sent as a nodal officer who is working in coordination with district authorities and health officials so that the Covid situation be improved in the district.

But the graph of Covid-19 seems to be increasing in the district inspite of the claims of better working by the health and district officials. Dr Anil Naushran, Secretary of Indian Medical Association in Meerut admits that the situation is grim here and said that many Covid patients died because when they were admitted in the hospital the spread of the virus was at an advanced stage in their bodies.

Dr Naushran had earlier suggested that some mobile clinics be sent all across the city and they should do the screening of people that would help in identifying the Covid cases. He said that patients with initial symptoms do not want to admit that they could possibly be infected with Covid 19.

At times they are afraid of going to Covid hospital and want to try everything they could to avoid admission to the hospital as a Covid patient, he added.

“It’s true that patients and their families are scared of going to the hospitals for Covid test,” says Dr Sofia Anjum adding that a majority of people are not convinced about the arrangements at the government hospitals for Covid patients.

Also, the fear of living in quarantine centres is another reason, she said adding that very few patients approach the authorities for Covid test with initial symptoms instead they take treatment at home which many times become fatal.

It may be noted that of the top five districts in the tally of Covid cases in UP three viz Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad and Meerut are from Meerut Division. Also of the six districts in Meerut division 80% deaths are from these three districts.

While there are 65 deaths and 905 cases in Meerut, there are 1811 cases and 20 deaths from Gautam Buddh Nagar, the figure is 1175 from Ghaziabad with 51 deaths.

However, in Hapur, Bulandshahr and Baghpat the other three districts of Meerut Division the number of positive cases and deaths are 547 and 11, 539 and 20, and 226 and 3 respectively.

The three districts viz Meerut, Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad also part of the National Capital Region could possibly be more affected with the virus in view of the proximity with Delhi where the situation is worst in view of the spread of the pandemic.

In three districts of Saharanpur division, the situation seems controlled with only 11 deaths. In Saharanpur district there are 353 cases without any death, in Muzzaffarnagar and Shamli districts the positive cases are 262 and 111 with 7 and 4 deaths.