Updated: April 11, 2021 1:57:54 am
Two Central government teams took stock of the coronavirus situation in Ahmedabad and Rajkot on Saturday even as the state reported 5,011 new cases and 49 fatalities, the highest single-day record of deaths due to the virus since May last year.
Ahmedabad reported as many as 1,440 new cases and 16 deaths, while Rajkot saw 529 cases and eight deaths due to the infection. In Rajkot, the president of Shree Khodaldham Trust and industrialist Naresh Patel, his wife and a senior doctor of the Rajkot civil hospital, who had been administered both the doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, were also tested positive.
“Naresh and his wife Shalini tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday. Their condition is stable and they are in home isolation,” Jitubhai Vasoya, one the trustees of Khodaldham Trust said. The Khodaldham Trust, an organisation of the Leuva Patel community runs the Khodaldham temple near Jetpur in Rajkot.
Meanwhile, a central team, comprising Dr Amol Patil, public health specialist at Regional Officer of Health and Family Welfare (ROHFW), Ahmedabad, Dr Paras Kathuria of the medicine department at the Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, and Prahlad Singh Dangwal, undersecretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs, took stock of the Covid-19 situation in Rajkot.
Another central team, comprising Dr Sandip Jogdand, deputy director of public health with National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Ashok Kuwal with AIIMS, Jodhpur, and Dr Sandeep and VK Rajan from the Ministry of Home Affairs, visited Ahmedabad on Saturday.
Addressing media persons, Dr Kuwal said the team was in the city to identify the cause behind the sudden rise in cases and how the hospitals were coping to tackle the surge. The team took a tour of the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital as well.
On Saturday, at least 52 nursing homes and hospitals were designated as Covid-19 health centres with a total capacity of 783 beds in Ahmedabad. The centres are for patients with mild to moderate symptoms with no critical needs and can cater with isolation beds and oxygen-equipped beds only. An additional 316 beds across 13 hospitals were also made by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).
Ahmedabad city also declared 1,082 households as micro-containment zones, putting an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 people in quarantine. An entire residential building in Thaltej, comprising 200 households, and several blocks and floors of another in Bodakdev, comprising 176 households, were among the areas brought under restriction.
Vadodara, which recorded 414 cases on Saturday, too, increased the beds for Covid-19 treatment to 10,195 of which 7,700 beds are occupied. Vadodara’s SSG hospital reported an occupancy of nearly 750 patients and so, the administration had decided to convert its psychiatry ward into a Covid-19 ward by installing 50 oxygen concentrators.
“The ward will be ready by Saturday night, taking the total capacity of SSG hospital to 800 beds,” Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Vinod Rao said.
The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) is also setting up a 500-bed dedicated Covid health centre with ICU and ventilator care at Yajnapurush Sabhagruh of BAPS, which will also see the installation of a liquid oxygen tank.
The VMC is also coordinating with other districts of Central Gujarat to create an Integrated Response System for bed availability in Chhota Udepur, Anand, Kheda, Panchmahals, Dahod, Mahisagar, Narmada and Bharuch districts. The IRS system, which went live on Saturday, will allow 108 ambulance services to rush patients in between districts as per the availability of ICU beds instead of bringing them to Vadodara city hospitals.
Meanwhile, 49 children under 10 years have also tested positive for Covid in Vadodara. Currently, Vadodara also has 75 Covid-19 patients above 90 years. As per the official data, the age group of 61 to 70 has a recorded maximum of 81 deaths due to the virus, closely followed by 51 to 60 years with 78 fatalities and 41 from the age group of 41 to 50.
On Saturday, Surat (16 deaths), Vadodara (4), Surendranagar, Chhota Udepur and Gandhinagar also reported fatalities.
Referring to the veracity of the numbers shared by the health department, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, on the sidelines of an event in Ahmedabad, said, “I have repeatedly said there is no reason at all to hide any figures… What does the government stand to benefit by suppressing data? The number of Covid-19 cases is reflected as per those registered on our database… Deaths went up from 35 to 45… and we reflected it… For deaths, there is a primary reason (of death) and a secondary reason. Say a person has uncontrolled diabetes and gets Covid-19 and dies,… in such a case the cause of death will not be because of Covid-19 but rather the comorbid condition and this death will not be counted. We have an analysis committee for deaths who ascertain the primary and secondary deaths…In Gujarat, say we have 4,000 cases and 45 deaths. In Maharashtra, there are 60,000 cases and deaths are lower than 200. If we go by proportionality, clearly they’re the ones hiding the figures…”
Civil hospitals, he said, send a “blue-cover file for the deceased” as a general practice. “There has been a confusion, with a hype created that these are of Covid-19 patients, but this (file) is for all patients,” the CM said.
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