Gujarat: 1,420 fresh Covid cases, Patel says sufficient beds available

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said sufficient beds are available across the state. With rising Covid-19 cases in the state, Patel directed the government-bonded MBBS doctors to join duty or face action under the Epidemic Diseases Act.

Even as Gujarat reported 1,420 fresh Covid-19 cases on Friday – nearing the September 19 peak when the state reported the highest single-day spike of 1,432, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said sufficient beds are available across the state. Patel also directed the government-bonded MBBS doctors to join duty or face action under the Epidemic Diseases Act.

Ahmedabad city, which has seen a rapid rise in cases, reported 305 new cases on Friday. The city also saw a significantly higher number of ambulance trips for Covid-19 patients compared to the number of new cases.

An official of GVK emergency services, the agency provides for ambulance services, said, “We follow 12 am to 12 am (next day) cycle for our data. In Ahmedabad city, on November 18 midnight, there were 410 trips. As of November 20 midnight, there were 500 trips. By November 21 midnight, we can estimate there will be more than 450 ambulance trips for Covid-19 patients.”

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation designated 17 residential areas as micro-containment zones on Friday.

‘No shortage of beds’

Patel, who also holds the health portfolio, quashed talks of insufficient beds for coronavirus patients in Ahmedabad. The 1,200-bed Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, a designated Covid-19 facility, currently has 60 ICU beds vacant and an additional 120 beds has been intimated, he said.

Beds are also available at GMERS Sola, Gandhinagar Civil Hospital, SVP Hospital while Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Centre and Gujarat Cancer Research Institute for have been restarted for Covid-19 patients, Patel added.

Patel announced bonded MBBS and postgraduate doctors have been notified by the health department to join on Covid-19 duty as soon as possible. “I appeal that they must attend to their responsibilities and I hope they do. If they don’t, action shall be taken in accordance with medical norms…and action shall be initiated against them under Epidemic Diseases Act…they studied at the government’s expenses and the government has a right to avail their services,” Patel said .

Patel also said apart from Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara, “other cities or rural limits are not in a situation where they are reporting cases in three digits…they are reporting some 5 to 20 cases or so.” However, Rajkot is seeing more than a 100 cases each day.

Central team arrives

The deputy chief minister notified a three-member central health ministry, led by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) director, Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh, was due to arrive in the state on Friday night.

“Meetings will follow on Saturday…and the team will visit places to take stock, wherever they deem fit,” Patel said.

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