AHMEDABAD: In 24 hours ending 5 pm on Monday, Gujarat added 1,640 new Covid-19 cases, or average17 cases every 15 minutes. It was the highest-ever tally for the state during the pandemic, surpassing the earlier highest tally of 1,607 on November 27. The peak has been reported after 115 days.
To put the figure in perspective, the state has recorded doubling of cases in just seven days from 890 on March 15. The eight municipal corporations accounted for 76% of the daily cases – the highest in 43 days.
Amidst the alarming surge, the silver lining is that the state recorded deaths of four patients in 24 hours — a daily mortality rate of 0.2%. In comparison, the prior surge on November 27 had a mortality rate of 1% with deaths of 16 patients.
With 7,847 active cases – the highest since January 10 – the hospitals in the state are filling up fast.
‘Severity of Covid is low’
Dr Bharat Gadhvi, president of Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association, said that the bed occupancy in private hospitals of Ahmedabad is 903 or 39% of the capacity. “Cases have surged in the past seven days. On March 15, the occupancy was at 20% with 450 patients. We have doubled the patients in that period,” he said, adding that about 750-odd patients are under homecare packages with different hospitals.
Dr Saurabh Shah, director of Aartham Hospital, said that 80 of their 93 beds are occupied as of Monday evening. “After Diwali, for the first time we are refusing patients due to lack of vacant beds. Of those admitted, 56 have moderate symptoms. Fortunately so far, the severity of the disease is a bit low during this wave,” he said.
The four major cities reported one-third or more beds as occupied out of earmarked beds. While occupancy hovers around 33-35% in Surat and Ahmedabad, occupancy is 56% in Vadodara and 25% in Rajkot, said doctors.