Coronavirus death toll crosses 1,000 in Gujarat

Coronavirus death toll crosses 1,000 in Gujarat; state tells HC situation better than 'Italy, France'

The death toll from coronavirus in Gujarat crossed 1,000-mark on Saturday as 27 more patients died in the last 24 hours. The total casualty is now at 1,007 in the state. In terms of sheer number, this is the second-highest after neighbouring state Maharashtra where over 2000 infected persons have died.

However, the virus continues to be most fatal in Gujarat with over 6% of death rate that is said to be the highest in the country, while in the neighbouring state it is little over 3%.

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Out of 1007 deaths, Ahmedabad alone has lion's share with 822 deaths as a city, only second to Mumbai where over 1100 have succumbed to the infection. The statistics show that Mumbai, which has recorded around 37,000 positive cases, has a mortality rate of about 3% while in Ahmedabad it is over 7%.

Out of total deaths in Ahmedabad, more than 50% patients have died in the civil hospital, Asarwa which the Gujarat High Court last week called a "dungeon" and criticised bureaucrats and health minister Nitin Patel for mismanagement. The state government has been defending itself ever since in the court while producing reports after reports on its actions taken to manage the pandemic in civil hospital and elsewhere.

On Friday, the state government filed a 94-page report in the high court and compared Gujarat with countries like Italy and France only to prove that the number of cases and deaths in the state are substantially lesser than these developed countries.

The report stated, "While comparing the state of Gujarat with countries like Italy and France, the population of which is similar and where the available medical facilities are very much superior to that available in the state, yet the rise in number of covid-19 cases has been substantially slow in the state as compared to the said countries. Similarly, the number of death has been substantially less in Gujarat as compared to Italy and France."

Interestingly, Gujarat government compares its discharge rate of covid-19 patients in everyday news update with other states. Even on Saturday, the release stated: "On 16.05.2020, the state had 39.20% discharge rate which has increased to 56.43% today that is much better than the average of 47.40% of other states in the country." The release remains silent on comparison with other states in terms of the number of daily testings, positive cases and mortality rates.

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