Gujarat sees 150 COVID-19 deaths in less than two weeks

Coronavirus deadliest in Gujarat, 150 death in less than two week

Representative image/PTI Photo

With over 3,700 positive cases by Tuesday and an alarming 181 deaths due to the deadly coronavirus, Gujarat is the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra in the country. The virus has already taken the life of a politician and has forced the chief minister to isolate himself after he came in touch with a sitting legislator, who tested positive.

Between April 14 and April 28, the state has reported more than 3,000 positive cases and over 150 deaths. The first positive the state had recorded was on March 19.

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Principal Secretary, Health, Jayanti Ravi said that the reason behind the surge in numbers is attributed to the increased number of tests. Till April 14, 15,984 samples had been tested which rose to 53,575 by April 27, an increase of over 37,000 that comes to 2600 tests per day.

The sudden rise in a number of confirmed cases has led to logistics issues in hospitals treating such patients. There have been reports of patients standing in line outside the hospitals to get admitted, while there is a shortage of beds and quarantine facilities across the state.

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“We have barely 6,000 beds in 29 hospitals spread across the state and nearly half of them are occupied. We will need at least 15,000 more such beds in the coming days if we can’t admit more patients. Due to lack of testing facilities, we are not taking samples of a lot of close relatives of people who have tested positive,” said a top IAS officer involved in overseeing the preparation.

With 434 patients cured, the state has improved its recovery rate to more than 11% but the mortality rate is nearly 5% while the national average is below a little over 3%.

For the past couple of days, the Gujarat government has started sharing separate data of those who die due to the virus, and those who die due to co-morbidities.

As for example on Tuesday, out of 19 deaths, data revealed that 4 persons died due to virus but 15 others had comorbid conditions. Jayanti Ravi has repeatedly stressed that "comorbid or pre-existing diseases are the major reason behind high death ratio in the state."

Ravi also attributes dominance of L-type strain of coronavirus behind the rising death toll in the state. It is said to be the same strain in the virus that has been found in Wuhan in China, where the outbreak was first reported. Attributing the findings to the scientist of Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre, Ravi said that Kerala has a lower mortality rate since infected persons had milder S strain which is milder.