AHMEDABAD: The city regained its top position in terms of the daily Covid-19 tally on Saturday with 401 new cases – or about three cases every 10 minutes. The earlier highest one-day tally for the city was 354 on November 21, during the post-Diwali surge. The district also reported five new cases.
Surat city with 381 and Vadodara with 132 recorded the second and third highest number of new cases. In all, the four major cities accounted for two-thirds of the new cases in the past 24 hours.
For the city, the number of daily cases doubled in just five days – from 205 on March 15 to 401 on March 20. Experts say the majority of cases are recorded in the western city parts. Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA) officials on Saturday morning said that occupancy at private hospitals was 683 or 30% of the 2,284 beds available. Of the beds occupied, 21% needed either ICU or ventilatory care, they added.
“This is the biggest surge in 2021, as cases had started falling in mid-December. Patients of almost all ages are now coming to the medical setting. One must get him/herself tested if any symptoms associated with Covid-19 are experienced and if a fever doesn’t subside in 24 hours,” said a senior physician.
In the past 10 days, the city also recorded the deaths of 11 Covid patients, the highest in the state with a 44% share of the daily toll. With the figures for Saturday, active cases in the city have increased to 1,200.
Ahmedabad district had a test positivity rate (TPR) of 3.7% — one of the highest in the state — against the state average of 2.2%. The TPR of the state also recorded a 100% jump in 17 days, from 1.1% to 2.2%.
“In the same period, daily tests have increased from 40,000 to 63,000. Thus, the data should be interpreted as the same number of tests finding more cases. Thus, the focus must be on finding patients quickly and isolating them to break the infection chain,” said a city-based pathologist.
The surge has prompted the state government to increase inoculation efforts. On Saturday evening, CDHOs were instructed to keep the vaccination programme open from 9am to 8pm to boost the numbers. On Saturday, 14,078 persons got vaccinated in Ahmedabad district.