Gujarat in 24 hours added 1,580 new cases and reported deaths of seven patients.
Out of four major districts, Surat saw an increase in cases by 116% (1,270 to 2,746) whereas Ahmedabad by 112% (1,052 to 2,232). Rajkot and Vadodara reported a rise of 72% and 22% respectively. Among the districts reporting at least 20 new cases, Surendranagar (from 6 to 29) and Narmada (from 21 to 87) tripled the cases.
In fact, Ahmedabad and Surat accounted for 57% of the cases between March 15 and 21. The two districts’ tally increased from 48% between March 8 and 14. The two districts accounted for 19 out of 26 deaths in the past seven days, recording 7 out of every 10 deaths. The ratio decreased slightly as the two districts had reported seven out of nine, or 78% of the deaths in the past week.
“Cities have remained epicenters of the pandemic due to factors such as higher population density and higher movement of citizens. But the spread of the pandemic in the smaller districts is surely worrisome. On Saturday, 61% of the total testing for Covid-19 took place in four major districts. If the testing is increased in other districts, the cases could show a northwards trend,” said a city-based epidemiologist.
Compared to 82% rise in cases, the vaccination reported slightly higher rise at 89% in a week’s time in Gujarat. Between March 8 and 14, 5.68 lakh citizens were inoculated for the first dose. The vaccination increased to 10.71 lakh, averaging 1.53 lakh shots daily. Experts advocated inoculation of the persons – identified as ‘super spreaders’ – at the earliest instead of repeated testing.