Gujarat reported 10,990 new cases of Covid-19 and 118 deaths on Tuesday, as per official figures, crossing the seven lakh-mark in its cumulative tally of cases. However, the number of patients on ventilator support has increased with 798 of them on Tuesday, against 637 on May 1 when the state had reported over 13,800 new cases and 172 deaths.
Rural or predominantly rural districts are however not seeing any slowdown in fresh cases, even as pressure from the cities, especially of Ahmedabad and Surat, ease. Banaskantha reported 212 new cases and two deaths when around 2,200 tests were conducted.
As per an affidavit filed by the Banaskantha district collector before the Gujarat High Court on May 10, 1,400 to 1,500 RT-PCR tests are conducted daily on an average at the Banas Medical College and Research Institute while nine other private laboratories collect samples and send the same for testing in Ahmedabad.
Between April 28 and May 4, the district conducted 12,497 RT-PCR tests and 3,792 antigen tests, when 1,421 emerged positive, thus pegging the week’s test positivity rate at 8.7 per cent. On Tuesday, the test positivity rate was well above nine per cent. With a provision of 89 ventilator beds, 308 ICU beds and 1,525 oxygen beds, the district receives approximately 13 MT of oxygen each day.
The predominantly tribal district of Narmada, which reported 96 new cases and one death on Tuesday and has seen no stabilising in cases, saw an RT-PCR laboratory set up only on May 5 with only one microbiologist manning it at present, nearly 14 months since the pandemic hit the state.
This admission was made by Narmada District Collector Dharmendra Shah in an affidavit before the Gujarat HC on May 10 as well. Prior to that samples were being sent to Vadodara.
The district of Mehsana continues to report around 400 to 500 cases each day, recording 418 new cases and six deaths on Tuesday. Mahisagar too continues to be hit hard, reporting 255 new cases and two deaths.