May 11, 2021 4:00:59 am
Between the first and second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Surat city has doubled its capacity to treat the infected even as its test positivity rate (TPR) has come down to 2.8 per cent on May 10, from eight per cent on April 24.
The SMC, which reported the highest number of cases in Gujarat till date with 1,01,095 cases — highest on April 24, 2021, with 2,361 cases — and 1,501 deaths — highest on April 19, 2021 with 28 deaths. So far, state had till date recorded 6.81 lakh cases with 8,391 deaths.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Surat Municipal Commissioner BN Pani said, “In July 2020, we had 5,204 beds across New Civil hospital, SMIMER, private hospitals, Covid Care Centres (CCCs) and Covid Community Isolation Centres (CCICs), of which 2,089 beds had oxygen lines and 411 had ventilators. During the second phase that was highly infectious, we increased the bed capacity to 11,916 beds by April 2021, of which 5,723 were with oxygen and 1,203 beds with ventilators.”
According to Pani, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) enhanced institutional facilities as home quarantine would increase the spread of infection.
“Home isolation would be risky for positive patients so we appealed to the community leaders and set up over 26 CCICs with oxygen beds. At home, a patient feels depressed and anxiety level goes up, while at CCIC, he or she gets help… Proper treatment is given at the CCICs and patients are even allowed to meet the family members from a safe distance,” he said. Patients with moderate symptoms are admitted to CCICs.
With the caseload dropping, micro containment zones in Surat have reduced from 1,800 on April 1, 2021 to 1,100 on May 9. The strategy adopted by the SMC was aggressive testing to identify “hidden patients” and get them treated and isolated.
As per the SMC health department, the second wave peaked from April 17. To check the spread, the SMC began aggressive testing through 237 Dhanvantri raths at diamond, textile factories, shopping complexes and malls, contai-nment zones, check posts as well as entry and exit points of the city.
On April 17, 26,120 tests were done and TPR stood at 6.58 per cent. The next day, 26,736 tests were done and TPR shot up to 7.21 per cent. On April 24, TPR was at a new high at 8 per cent against 29,011 tests. The downward trend started from April 25 with 6.15 per cent against 27,478 tests, while on April 30 the TPR was 5.87 per cent against 31,301 tests. On May 7, the TPR was 3.01 percent against 30,017 tests.
Active cases in Surat city on March 17 was 1,197 cases with 95.60 per cent recovery rate, while on April 16, there were 12,932 active cases when the recovery rate was 87.30 per cent. On April 28, there were 18,136 active cases with recovery rate of 77.70 per cent and on May 7, the active cases were 12,129 cases with 86.40 per cent recovery rate.
Pani said, “We are planning health card for shop keepers that shows the details of Covid tests and vaccinations. The shop will not be allowed to open if health card is not available. Such shops are superspreader spots where a large number of people gather.”
According to officer on special duty, M Thennarasan, “A total of 2.53 lakh tests were done at five checkposts, two bus depots, railway station and airport, of which 7,081 were found positive and have been isolated. Since March 2021, we have done 7,54,566 tests, identifying 12,557 positive cases.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.