Updated: April 25, 2021 1:26:19 am
Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister and Health Minister Nitin Patel tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday even as the state added 14,097 new cases, taking the state’s total infection count to nearly 4.81 lakh. As many as 152 people also succumb to the infection, the highest one-day fatality so far, a bulletin released by the state government said.
Patel, 64, has been admitted to the U N Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre in Ahmedabad. He had taken the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine over a month ago.
“I had my RT-PCR test done after showing mild symptoms of coronavirus, the result of which is positive. On the advice of doctors, I am getting admitted to UN Mehta Hospital… I urge all of you who recently came in contact with me to take care of their health,” he tweeted Saturday. An official at the UN Mehta Hospital confirmed Patel’s condition was stable.
On Saturday, Patel had accompanied Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani at the inauguration of an oxygen plant in Gandhinagar. The Deputy CM has also been attending meetings with the state’s political brass and bureaucrats, including core-committee meetings held for monitoring the Covid-19 situation in Gujarat. According to Patel, he showed mild symptoms of the infection following which he got himself tested.
Meanwhile, reports of shortage of hospital beds, especially for critical care, continued to pour in from across Gujarat. The test positivity rate, too, continued to rise – currently, at over seven per cent indicating no slowdown in the surge soon.
Ahmedabad city reported a bulk of the cases — 5,617 — in the state, which is nearly 40 per cent of the state’s Saturday caseload. Ahmedabad city and rural together recorded a high test positivity rate of more than 15 per cent.
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation-run SVP Hospital, meanwhile, issued a clarification after reports of the hospital keeping several beds vacant deliberately to accommodate “VIP patients” made the rounds of the local media. In a statement, the hospital said it has kept its sixth floor reserved for those requiring services of gynaecological and paediatric care.
“…There is no other hospital(s) (in Ahmedabad city) which provides Covid treatment to pregnant women as well as newborn neonatal child and paediatric patients who are infected with Covid and need hospital treatment. Fortunately, SVP (hospital) has a sixth floor, especially built and reserved for such patients… Gynec and pediatric patients (sic.) are admitted on the sixth floor and no VIP reservation is there. Still, considering the crisis of critical beds, before a week…, SVP converted some parts of its paediatric ICU into adult ICU and admitted critically ill patients there,” it stated.
Meanwhile, tribal or predominantly tribal-populated districts continued to report a rising number of infections. Spike in Covid-19 fatalities also indicated the burden on the healthcare facilities in such districts. Dang touched a new high with 39 new cases and three deaths in a single day. The district has seen 10 deaths due to the virus in the last 10 days, the health bulletin said. Its test positivity rate was recorded over eight per cent even as the district is reporting the lowest number of tests — around 400 samples sent of tests per day — across Gujarat.
Valsad, too, reported 105 cases and two deaths taking the toll due to the infection to seven since April 16. Until then, the district had seen only nine deaths in a span of nearly a year. In Tapi, 104 people were tested positive while Narmada saw 71 fresh infections.
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