Gujarat reported 1,281 fresh cases of COVID-19, taking the state’s tally to nearly 1.92 lakh. Several districts, including Ahmedabad, recorded a spike in cases following Diwali.
The state’s daily tally had last crossed 1,200 over a month ago. Meanwhile, testing dropped to fewer than 50,000 samples a day.
Officials of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation(AMC) met to review the availability of beds in the designated hospitals in the city following the surge. A release from Officer on Special Duty at the AMC Rajiv Kumar Gupta Wednesday said that the spike was because of “people going out and coming into” the city and people “going shopping disregarding Covid 19 protocols of social distancing and wearing of masks”, during the festive season.
Gupta ruled out another lockdown and dismissed reports on shortage of beds as “rumours”. He said the city had “one health care worker per 275 persons”.
Civil Hospital Superintendent Dr Jaiprakash V Modi said that as of Wednesday, 678 COVID19 patients were admitted of which 354 were on oxygen support, 187 patients occupied ventilator enabled beds and remaining were on non-oxygen beds.
Gupta also refuted charges of a dip in testing and said that Covid testing for city population was available every two kilometres. “With more than 3000 surveillance teams that have been serving 1.8 lakh houses every day covering a population of 10 lakh, since the month of June, the entire population has been surveyed 18 times”, said Gupta.
He added that over 20000 people including AMC health workers, medical, dental, physiotherapy and nursing students, doctors, paramedical staff teachers and Anganwadi workers were on Covid duty round the clock.
A senior doctor at Gujarat’s biggest Covid hospital, the Civil hospital at Ahmedabad said the hospital saw “more than 100 COVID19 patient admissions each day”.
“While we do have vacant isolation beds, critical units of ventilators are full,” said the senior doctor at the COVID19 ward of Asarwa Civil Hospital. As per medical resident officer Dr Sanjay Kapadia of 1200-bed COVID19 unit at Civil Hospital, “Most critical patients are being admitted here as a result of which our 229 ICU beds stand fully occupied…we are not testing doctors at the moment because then we are bound to see a shortage of manpower. I myself tested positive for antibodies although I’ve been working continuously since the past nine months.”
In all the city has 7279 beds reserved for Covid at the seven government and 76 private designated hospitals.
Jashvant Prajapati, chief operating officer at GVK emergency services, told mediapersons that the average “hospital time” saw an increase up to an hour, especially in the AMC-run SVP hospital.
Later on Wednesday, Prajapati issued a statement saying 10 more ambulances would be added to the existing fleet of 20 deployed in the city.
A GVK EMRI official told this paper that against the 2800 emergency cases the service handled per day across Gujarat, the cases had shot up to 3500 during Diwali, including the Covid emergencies.
“In the past two to three days we saw a considerable increase in hospital time, especially in SVP Hospital, apart from in the Civil Hospitals (Asarwa, Sola), because more patients opted for admission to SVP. Today (Wednesday), we have seen an improvement with more paramedics deployed at the hospital and stretchers arranged for, after we highlighted this issue to the concerned authorities”, said the official.
Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS)-run civil hospital at Sola, Ahmedabad, has utilised its 50 critical beds, said medical superintendent Dr Pina Soni, “although we are trying to manage patients..we have OPD beds available…”
Currently there are 177 COVID19 positive patients admitted at the hospital, a considerable surge as compared to November 1, when it had 80 such patients undergoing treatment at the hospital.
Apart from Ahmedabad, the districts of Surat, Rajkot, Mehsana and Gandhinagar too are seeing a rapid surge in cases. Ahmedabad district has now reported over 45,000 cases and 1,949 fatalities.
Banaskantha reported over 60 cases, and Surat reported over 200 cases despite fewer than 10,000 samples that were tested. Surat municipal corporation on Wednesday also issued an advisory against celebrating Chhath Puja scheduled for November 20 and instead urged citizens to celebrate the same at home.
Vadodara saw a high test positivity rate as 142 tested positive on Wednesday, against the 2,200 odd samples which were tested on Tuesday. The district has been seeing a steady increase in cases since before Diwali.
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