Updated: April 11, 2020 7:27:32 am
The Gujarat Health Department announced Friday that those above 85 years of age who test positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic can stay at home, subject to an undertaking by the family.
Addressing mediapersons, Principal Health Secretary Jayanti Ravi said, “It was decided on Thursday at a high-powered committee meeting at the chief ministerial level that those aged more than 85 years who are testing positive but remain asymptomatic can remain at home subject to specific conditions, wherein the family has to give an undertaking that they wish to keep the patient at home in isolation. As they are asymptomatic, they may not be requiring any treatment per se. In such cases, subject to the fact that they will strictly follow all the conditions that come with such an undertaking, the patient can be kept at home. We are clear that the patient must be asymptomatic and should not have any other condition.”
Apart from the fact that they don’t require any treatment, Ravi said, “This decision has been taken as sometimes if an aged person is taken to a hospital, they face trauma, and find mental strength in staying at home.”
Till date the state has seen at least three patients over the age of 85. On March 25, an 85-year-old died in Ahmedabad, two days after testing positive. The other two, both in Bhavnagar — a 92-year-old and a 90-year-old — are symptomatic and continue to be in hospital.
In another decision, those in designated clusters in municipal corporation areas who may have come in close contact with a known positive patient but are found to be asymptomatic, will be quarantined for 14 days, and if necessary a test may be conducted seven days later, said Ravi.
The number of asymptomatic people positive for coronavirus has risen since the state started aggressive testing, especially in Ahmedabad and Vadodara. On Friday, Gujarat reported 37 more cases, taking the count to 316. In a first for a medical profession deployed in frontline COVID-19 duty, a 35-year-old doctor conducting surveillance at a healthcare centre in Ahmedabad city was among those who tested positive.
With a target of testing 1,000 samples a day, Ravi said that between Thursday 10 am and Friday 10 am, 978 samples had been taken, of which 635 had tested negative. Several results, especially from Surat, are pending.
Bharuch became the 19th district in Gujarat to be affected, with four who returned from a Tablighi Jamaat event in
Tamil Nadu last month testing positive. Vadodara reported eight more cases, seven of them from Nagarwada area declared a ‘red zone’ on Sunday. With this, the district’s total now stands at 47. Eleven new cases were reported from Ahmedabad, including of the doctor, who is stable.
The death count for Gujarat now stands at 19, with a 40-year old patient admitted to Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad with kidney complications and an 81-year-old from Gandhinagar who may have got the infection from his Dubai-returned grandson passing away.
Thirty people have recovered, with four discharged on Friday.
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