In view of the surge in Covid-19 cases in Ahmedabad, the civic body has stepped up measures by augmenting the existing capacity of beds in both private and government hospitals, requisitioning more private hospitals, doubling testing kiosks, as well as making available Dhanvantri Rath, Sanjivani Van and 104 helpline services for Covid-related emergencies.
The state health department has also cancelled Diwali leaves for its employees, anticipating an escalation in Covid cases and emergencies during the festive season.
A directive from health commissioner has JP Shivahare said, “Keeping in view of the existing number of cases, which is expected to increase due to travelling of people during the festive season, it (granting of leave) will be only considered in inevitable cases and on health grounds.”
The total bed capacity in five government-run Covid hospitals has been increased from 2,800 to over 3,250 recently, while private beds have been increased from 2,700 to 4,000.
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) requisitioned 150 additional beds in private hospitals along with two new hospitals over Thursday and Friday. With the addition of Ansh Hospital in Chandkheda and Arthav Hospital in Nava Vadaj, the number of private hospitals designated for Covid care by AMC has been increased to 76.
Daily cases reported in Ahmedabad crossed 200 this week. On Friday 219 cases were reported, including 190 from the city alone.
As on Thursday, 2,787 active cases were reported in Ahmedabad of which North West zone constitutes the highest number — 459 cases — among all seven zones followed by South zone (451), West zone (450) and South west zone (428). On Thursday, 181 cases were reported from the city alone and another 18 from the district.
“Due to an increase in Covid cases over the past three-four days, Civil hospital’s ICU in is almost full. If this inflow continues for another three-four days, of the situation will be similar to what was in May,” said Dr Rakesh Joshi, additional medical superintendent and in charge of the 1,200-bed Covid hospital, at Asarwa Civil Hospital campus. Of the 1,200 beds, the hospital has a capacity of 230 ICU beds.
The AMC has also added 25 vehicles to the fleet of Dhanvantri Rath service launched on May 15. The mobile health van consisting of a doctor, nurse and paramedic staff, visits residential areas to conduct diagnosis, tests and provide prophylactics. The Dhanvantri Raths have been increased from 125 to 150.
“The existing capacity of services, including beds, has been augmented by nearly 25 per cent… There is a surge in number of cases but there is no shortage or crisis of beds or any other service… more than 75 per cent of the beds in government hospitals are still vacant,” Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Mukesh Kumar told The Indian Express.
Vehicles and medical teams for Sanjivani Rath Seva launched in July for asymptomatic patients under home isolation has been increased from 75 to 100. Similarly, the 24×7 helpline 104 launched in June with 25 teams for patients with symptoms who want to get tested in their homes now has 100 teams.
The number of testing kiosks at some of the busiest public locations has been increased to 75 from 55, and another 25 would be added this week, said a senior AMC official.
Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA) president Dr Bharat Gadhavi said, “Number of cases is swelling lately. So to keep availability of beds in check, more hospitals are being requisitioned by the AMC.”
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