Rajya Sabha member Abhay Bhardwaj who has been undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at the dedicated Covid-19 hospital (DCH) on the campus of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay (PDU) Hospital was put on ventilator support on Tuesday after his oxygen saturation level dipped.
Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama flew to Rajkot in the evening with a team of three senior doctors from Ahmedabad to assess his health even as 39 deaths were reported from Covid hospitals in the city within 24 hours. Rajkot district collector Remya Mohan also tested positive for the viral infection on Tuesday.
“His health deteriorated on Tuesday evening and he was put on ventilator support,” said Nitin Bhardwaj, younger brother of Abhay Bhardwaj and a senior functionary of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the city.
“The Chief Minister is worried about health of Abhay Bhardwaj, our old friend of Jan Sangh days. On the instructions of the CM, I have come here with three senior doctors from Ahmedabad,” Chudasama said after landing at Rajkot airport. The team of doctors from Ahmedabad included infectious disease expert Dr Atul Patel, cardiologist Dr Anand Shukla and lungs expert Dr Tushar Patel.
Bhardwaj tested positive for Covid-19 on August 31, just 10 weeks after being elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat on June 20. The 66-year-old politician is also a leading criminal lawyer in the state. His wife, son, his daughter and younger brother Nitin Bhardwaj also tested positive for the viral infection.
Nitin, also a member of the standing committee of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC), has recovered and started making public appearances.
Dr Pankaj Buch, medical superintendent of PDU Hospital and Dr Meghal Unadkat, nodal officer of the DCH were not available for a comment.
Confirming that she tested positive for Covid-19, Rajkot collector told The Indian Express, “I had mild throat irritation last evening and therefore went for a rapid antigen test which returned positive for Covid-19. I am mildly symptomatic and have given samples for an RTPCR test.” Mohan said she has isolated herself in her official residence.
Meanwhile, 47 fresh cases of Covid-19 wre reported till noon on Tuesday even as an official bulletin from the state information department for Rajkot district stated that 39 patients died in Covid hospitals in the city during the 24 hours till 9 am on Tuesday.
They included 31 patients from the RMC limits, three from Rajkot rural and five from other districts of Saurashtra.
With Tuesday’s addition, the number cases in the city went up to 4,585 and death toll in 22 private Covid hospitals and government facilities to at least 897. Of them, 555 were patients of Rajkot city, of which 250 were reported during the first two weeks of this month.
However, the state government is not treating every death occurring Covid-19 hospitals and records Covid-19 deaths on the basis of reports of death audit committee. As per the RMC records, only 85 patients have been recorded as having died solely due to Covid-19 while the rest succumbed to comorbidities.
The number of daily cases in the city has been hovering above 90 for the past three weeks and RMC officers claim the cases have started stabilising. “We are doing rigorous surveillance with the help of around 1,200 persons. Fifty Dhanvantari Raths, 15 teams of 104 fever helpline and 36 dedicated testing vans are doing rigorous testing. So far, we have tested total 1.36 lakh samples and the positivity rate has come down to around three per cent from around seven per cent a few weeks ago,” said Dr Lalit Vanja, municipal office of health of RMC.
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