Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja among 2,815 new COVID cases in Gujarat: state to reserve beds in private hospitals

By PTI
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat on Saturday reported 2,815 COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day addition, taking its tally to 3,15,563, an official said.

Friday’s outbreak record of 2,640 stands broken in less than 24 hours, an indicator of the sharp surge the state is witnessing over the past few days, the official pointed out.

The state’s death toll rose by 13 to touch 4,552 during the day, while the recovery count reached 2,96,713, or 94.03 per cent of the caseload, after 2,063 people were discharged, he added.

Gujarat now has 14,298 active cases, of which 161 patients are critical, he said.

“Five deaths took place in Surat, four in Ahmedabad and one each in Rajkot, Vadodara, Tapi and Bhavnagar. Surat led with 687 new cases, followed by 659 in Ahmedabad, 384 in Vadodara and 277 in Rajkot,” the official said.

A government release said 3,71,055 people were given the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, while 32,624 people in the 45 plus age group got the second dose.

Gujarat’s COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 3,15,563, new cases 2,815, death toll 4,552, discharged 2,96,731, active cases 14,298, people tested so far – figures not released.

The state government on Saturday empowered district collectors and municipal commissioners to reserve beds in private hospitals for treatment of the infected patients.

Announcing the decision during a review tour of Vadodara, state Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said the expenses incurred on patients on such beds would be paid by the government.

“The state government has taken a decision to give powers to municipal commissioners and district collectors to reserve private hospital beds for coronavirus patients,” Patel, who also holds the health portfolio, told reporters.

Patel, who during his tour met district and civic officials, said circuit houses in Vadodara would be converted into COVID care centres for asymptomatic patients who live in slums, chawls or small houses where effective isolation may not be possible.

“We have also decided to form a committee of expert doctors to check if patients admitted in private hospitals really require such admission or whether they have been given beds despite being asymptomatic. Such (asymptomatic) patients will be discharged and those who really require beds will be admitted in hospitals,” Patel said.

There was no shortage of Remdesivir, a medicine known to be effective in treating the infection, and 50,000 vials had been ordered, he informed.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja has tested positive for coronavirus.

The minister himself informed about his condition on Twitter on Saturday.

Notably, Jadeja had tabled the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) bill in the state Legislative Assembly on April 1, discussion on which was held for the entire day before its passage by a majority vote.

“I have tested positive for COVID-19 in the tests conducted on me after I had some symptoms of the disease. I am getting myself admitted to a hospital as a precautionary measure,” he tweeted.

Jadeja said those who came in contact with him during the last few days should take care of their health.

At least eight MLAs, a minister, and several officials had tested positive for coronavirus during the over one-month long Budget session of the state Assembly.