| Ahmedabad, Vadodara |
November 22, 2020 5:45:29 am
Gujarat reported 1,515 coronavirus cases Saturday, its highest daily surge since the outbreak of the infection in March, with Ahmedabad city that went under a weekend-long curfew reporting 354 of the cases. The city also reported shortage of beds for critical Covid-19 patients and transferred at least 25 of them to a hospital in Anand district and Gandhinagar Civil Hospital.
Rajiv Gupta, the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) at Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, told mediapersons Saturday that beds were available for Covid-19 patients. “There is no issue. In SVP Hospital, an additional 300 beds are being arranged for (coronavirus patients),” he said.
Along with the earlier 20 ambulances, now 63 ambulances have been added solely for Covid-19 patients in Ahmedabad city, the officer said.
“Twenty-five AMC doctors have been deployed at 108 control room… (and the) 104 service (home isolation follow-up) will see 160 vans starting tonight. Sixty-five more are being readied and shall be operational starting Sunday night,” Gupta said.
On Saturday, Gupta also took stock at the 108 headquarters while a central health ministry team, led by National Communicable Diseases Centre Director Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh, along with additional director at NCDC and pulmonologist from Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, toured the AMC-run SVP Hospital.
According to a senior official at SVP Hospital, the team took a “tour of the wards, ICU, reviewed patient protocol, looked at medical history and checked records… Recommendations and observations (by the team) shall be submitted to the state (health department) directly.”
Dr Himanshu Pandya, the dean of Pramukhswami Medical College which is affiliated to Shree Krishna Hospital at Karamsad in Anand, said, “The AMC requested for 87 beds (and the same has been agreed to). These include high dependency unit beds as well as ICU beds. We have 146 ICU beds, of which 102 ICU beds have been kept to accommodate patients from Anand. We have provisions to increase our capacity, to include more beds for critical patients and will do so as and when required. At present, I believe nearly 25 patients from Ahmedabad are admitted (at the medical college) and most of them are stable.”
A medical officer at the Anand hospital said Ahmedabad “will be transferring only critical patients” to the hospital, located nearly 70 kms away.
According to a GVK EMRI – an emergency ambulance service provider — the transfers to Anand can “take up to two hours approximately but we have existing support system within the ambulance”. As per the official, a total of 428 ambulance trips solely for Covid-19 patients had been completed in a 24-hour cycle until 12 am Saturday. The official estimated between 12.01 am on November 21 until 12 am on November 22, at least 350 to 400 ambulance trips for Covid-19 patients was likely to be completed.
Around 50-60 Covid-19 patients, a top official at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital said, were admitted at Gujarat Cancer Research Institute and another 100 patients were admitted at Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Centre. “The UN Mehta Hospital has also started admitting Covid-19 patients starting today. Ahmedabad Civil Hospital has nearly exhausted its critical beds,” the official said.
At Gandhinagar Civil Hospital, another a senior official said, “As of 6-6.30 pm Saturday, 60 of the total 300 beds were available. Of these, 35 isolation beds, 20 oxygen-equipped beds and five (of the total 100) critical beds were available.”
Meanwhile, Congress MLA from Anand, Kanti Sodha Parmar, and former Ahmedabad mayor and incumbent Vasna corporator at AMC, Amit Shah, tested positive for the viral infection Saturday. Shah, a BJP leader, is currently undergoing treatment at SVP Hospital.
The Vadodara Municipal Corporation sealed as many as 20 shops, including a local milk centre, for alleged violation of social-distancing norms Saturday before the night curfew (9 pm to 6am) was imposed in the city. The state government has announced night curfew, beginning Saturday, at Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot to contain the Covid-19 surge.
Around eight teams of the VMC ward offices went around the market areas on the day to take stock of the implementation the Covid-19 precautions. The teams sealed 20 shops, mostly selling eatables, for violation of social-distancing rules. The VMC will decide further course of action against the shops, an official said.
To create awareness about the night curfew, the Vadodara civic body roped in public announcement systems at various places. The VMC has also altered the timings for public gardens from Saturday — the gardens that were open during the day will now only remain open from 6 am to 9 am and again from 4 pm to 8 pm.
The central health team, led by Dr SK Singh, also visited Vadodara to take stock of the pandemic situation. Vadodara district on Saturday reported 169 new cases.
With inputs from Aditi Raja
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