On Tuesday, Gujarat reported 362 more COVID-19 cases and discharged 466 patients from hospitals, the highest single-day figure after the Union health ministry revised the discharge policy on Friday.
The new policy, which frees up beds faster and saves COVID-19 testing kit, says mild and moderate cases can be discharged 10 days after symptoms appear if there is no fever for 3 days. It also spares the patient from undergoing test prior to discharge, a must according to earlier policy. The discharge number saw a sharp uptick – from 163 on May 8 – after the new policy came into effect.
Gujarat principal health secretary Jayanti Ravi said research world-wide shows that once patients stops exhibiting symptoms, the culture of the virus taken in such a condition exhibits no growth and virus shedding does not spread infection.
“After seven days, even if the virus continues to remain in the body and RTPCR tests come out positive, the virus culture shows no growth and virus shedding does not cause spread of infection. The new discharge policy was framed based on this research… the Central government has further provided a cushion by keeping it to 10 days (after which a patient can be discharged),” said Ravi. Of the 362 new cases in the state, Ahmedabad reported 267. And of the 23 deaths in the state, 21 were from the city.
Rajkot reported its second death, of a 32-year-old man from Jetpur town who was undergoing treatment in the Ahmedabad civil hospital. Rajkot district had reported 68 COVID-19 positive cases, of which 63 were from Rajkot city, while the five were reported from the rural area.
Dr Mitesh Bhanderi, the chief district health officer of Rajkot, said that the youth was suffering from liver cirrhosis and compromised kidney function. He had received indoor treatment at Ahmedabad civil hospital for two weeks before he was discharged on April 28. He went to his home in Desaivadi in Jetpur. “As asked by the hospital, he came back to Ahmedabad again on May 9 and was to undergo a surgery on Monday. As part of pre-operative assessment, doctors tested his samples for COVID and they returned positive. Eventually, he succumbed to the disease,” Dr Bhanderi said.
The man’s last rites were performed in Ahmedabad and his family members were shifted to a quarantine facility in Rajkot.