Gujarat COVID tally crosses five lakh with 14,340 new cases; BJP MLAs ask CM to impose lockdown

By PTI
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat’s COVID-19 tally crossed the 5 lakh-mark on Monday to reach 5,10,373 with the addition of 14,340 new cases, the highest rise in a single day so far, the state health department said.

With a record 158 fatalities in a day, the COVID-19 toll in Gujarat rose to 6,486, it said.

Gujarat is now left with 1,21,461 active cases.

A total of 7,727 patients were discharged during the day, taking the number of recoveries in Gujarat to 3,82,426, the department said in a release.

With this, Gujarat’s case recovery rate has gone down to 74.93 per cent.

At 5,679, Ahmedabad reported the highest number of fresh cases in the state in the day and 27 fatalities, also the highest in the state.

Surat reported 1,876 new cases and 25 deaths.

Vadodara reported706 new cases and 16 deaths while Jamnagar added 668 infections.

Rajkot reported 598 cases and 14 deaths, followed by 536 cases in Bhavnagar.

The number of beneficiaries who have received COVID-19 vaccine doses rose to 1,14,54,629 on Monday with 1,59,093 more people receiving the jabs, the department said.

As many as 20,19,205 people have received the second dose of vaccines so far.

In the Union Territory of Dadra Nagar Haveli Daman and Diu, the number of coronavirus positive cases rose to 6,839 with 142 new additions.

With 123 patients getting discharged, the count of recoveries increased to 4,672.

The UT is now left with 2,160 active cases with four deaths so far, officials said.

Gujarat’s COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 5,10,373, new cases 14,340, death toll 6,486, discharged 3,82,426, active cases 1,21,461, people tested so far – figures not released.

Meanwhile, nineteen more private medical facilities in Ahmedabad have come forward to serve as dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and care centres, adding 292 beds for patients in the city, officials said on Monday.

With this, there are now 167 private facilities requisitioned by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for treating COVID-19 patients, as per the update made available by an association of city-based hospitals and nursing homes.

The Gujarat government has exempted private clinics, nursing homes, and multi-speciality hospitals from seeking permission to convert to dedicated COVID-19 facilities.

They are only required to inform the authorities about it, according to the Ahmedabad Municipal corporation (AMC).

As part of the policy, 19 more private hospitals, multi-speciality facilities, clinics and nursing homes came forward in the last three-four days to serve as COVID-19 hospitals and care centres, the AMC said in a release.

This has made 292 more beds available for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the city, it said.

Amid the second wave of the pandemic, so far over 150 private hospitals here have been designated as dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, over 170 as COVID-19 health centres, and more than 20 as COVID-19 care centres, the AMC said.

These private facilities have added 9,683 beds in various categories like isolation wards, Intensive Care Units (ICUs) with and without ventilators, and High Dependency Units (HDUs), the release said.

Out of the 9,683 beds in these facilities, 7,939 are occupied as of Monday morning, with few vacancies left in the ICUs or HDUs meant for critical patients, it said.

Ahmedabad has seen a massive surge in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks, with the daily infection count rising from 951 on April 8 to 5,790 on April 25.

As of now, there are 43,899 active COVID-19 cases in the city which has reported 2,694 deaths so far due to the disease, according to official figures.

All MBBS graduates under government bond in Gujarat have been asked to immediately join duty in the wake of a shortage of doctors at COVID-19 hospitals in the state.

The state government will initiate action under the Epidemic Diseases Act against the doctors who fail to join the “compulsory COVID-19 duty immediately”, said a notification issued on Monday by state health commissioner Jai Prakash Shivahare.

As per the notification, the number of beds in government hospitals has been considerably increased to cope up with the high influx of COVID-19 patients.

However, there is an acute shortage of manpower to treat the coronavirus patients against the infrastructure created by the state, said the notification.

“The state government urgently needs the services of doctors as coronavirus cases are increasing at an unprecedented pace,” Shivahare said in the notification.

“Around 1,000 such bonded doctors, who were already given appointments as Class-2 medical officers, are now required to join the duty immediately,” the order said.

Shivahare also instructed all the district collectors and municipal commissioners to take action under the Epidemic Diseases Act against the doctors who do not turn up to join the compulsory COVID-19 duty at their respective places.

Doctors under bond comprise those who have recently completed their MBBS from government-run medical colleges.

MBBS pass-outs of the Gujarat Medical Education & Research Society-run colleges also fall under this category.

As per rules, they are required to serve a specific period in rural areas under bond with the government.

Many such graduates prefer to pay the bond amount, instead of working in rural areas.

Gujarat on Sunday recorded 14,296 new coronavirus cases, its highest single-day spike since the pandemic broke out, the state health department said.

This increased its infection tally to 4,96,033.

The state also recorded its highest one-day COVID-19 fatality count of 157, which took the death toll to 6,328, it said.

Two BJP MLAs from Vadodara in Gujarat on Monday demanded a lockdown in the state to tackle the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The two MLAs, Ketan Inamdar representing Savli Assembly constituency and Shailesh Mehta of Dabhol, held a meeting in Vadodara during the day to discuss outbreak issues, including supply of medical oxygen to hospitals in rural areas.

Inamdar told reporters he had written to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani demanding a lockdown as the situation could get serious, especially due to wedding functions being organised in large numbers this time unlike last year amid the outbreak.

He also said awareness among the rural population was poor and a combination of such factors could worsen the situation, and, therefore, he had asked the CM to enforce lockdown.

Inamdar also protested against the Vadodara district administration’s decision to ban 164 hospitals from admitting COVID-19 patients requiring oxygen, adding that it was the duty of the administration to ensure all hospitals get adequate oxygen supply.

Mehta seconded Inamdar and said lockdown was needed to break the chain of infection.

He also said Vadodara district’s daily quota of 160 metric tonnes of oxygen must be maintained.

In a 24-hour period ending at 5pm on Monday, Vadodara city added 528 cases to its COVID-19 tally, while the figure was 178 in the district’s rural parts.