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17-year-old’s death a Gujarat blip: Not high-risk, no known co-morbidity

In an analysis of deaths across the state released on April 20, Principal Health Secretary Jayanti Ravi had said more than half the deaths till then (35 of 67) were of high-risk patients with multiple co-morbidities.

The youngest to die this week was a 16-year-old, from Dani Limda area, a hotspot in Ahmedabad. (Representational Photo)

A 17-year-old with no co-morbidities died in Ahmedabad on Friday, the latest casualty in the state of coronavirus who fell neither in the category of high-risk nor had added complications.

So far, eight of the 112 who have died in the state (or 7%) have neither been high-risk nor had any co-morbidity. Ten (9%) have been high-risk but with no co-morbidity, as per a vulnerability profile analysis by the Gujarat Health Department of the dead in the state until Thursday.

High-risk patients are defined as those above 60 years or below five years of age, and pregnant women.

While more than 50% of last week’s deaths in the state were of patients categorised as high-risk along with multiple co-morbidities, this week, a larger number of fatalities involve high-risk patients without any co-morbidity or high-risk patients with a single co-morbidity. Of the total deaths, 43 (38%) so far have been of patients with a single co-morbid condition, while 51 or nearly 45% of those with multiple co-morbidities.

Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra warned on Friday that the city alone was looking at 8 lakh cases by May 31 if its doubling rate of coronavirus cases remains at the existing four days, hitting the 50,000 mark by May 15.

The youngest to die this week was a 16-year-old, from Dani Limda area, a hotspot in Ahmedabad.

According to Dr Jaiprakash V Modi, in-charge superintendent of the Civil Hospital where the girl was admitted, she had the autoimmune lupus disease and was brought to the hospital gasping for breath. “She was on steroids and several other medications and had to be intubated,” Dr Modi told The Indian Express.

Officials at AMC remained unavailable for comment on the case of the 17-year old, despite repeated attempts.

In an analysis of deaths across the state released on April 20, Principal Health Secretary Jayanti Ravi had said more than half the deaths till then (35 of 67) were of high-risk patients with multiple co-morbidities.

Ravi said, “We found that 35 of the deaths or 52.23% were patients categorised as high-risk and had multiple co-morbidities, 21 deaths that is 31.34% were high-risk patients with a single co-morbid condition, four deaths were of high-risk patients with no co-morbidity and seven deaths were seen in patients neither categorised as high-risk nor had any co-morbidity.”

Since then, based on the data provided by the state government, every day has seen some deaths with no known co-morbidities. On April 21, for example, the dead included eight patients with no known co-morbidities. The next day, five more with no known co-morbid conditions died, while Thursday saw a 60-year-old man with no known co-morbidity succumb.

In an online press briefing, Nehra said they were confident that by the time this phase of the lockdown ends on May 3, Ahmedabad would have increased its doubling rate to seven-eight days. This would lower case projections to 10,000 by May 15 and 50,000 by May 31 for the city.

“On April 17, Ahmedabad had 600 cases, which doubled to more than 1,200 on April 20, that is within three days. At present, the case doubling rate is four days, and if this remains, the city will have 50,000 cases by May 15 and 8 lakh cases on May 31,” the Municipal Commissioner said.

On Friday, Ahmedabad reported 151 new cases and seven deaths, taking the total number of cases to 1,638. Out of these, 105 have been discharged while 74 have died. Out of the 1,459 active cases, 1,440 are stable and 19 on ventilator.

Gujarat had a doubling rate earlier of nearly four days, shooting up from 1,108 cases on April 17 to 2,216 on April 21, but this is now believed to be around six days. On Friday, the count stood at 2,815.

The state’s average tests per million population figure stands at 593.66, less than half compared to Delhi and lower than other badly hit states.

With inputs from Ritu Sharma

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