Covid-19: What’s behind Gujarat’s high daily recovery rate?

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on August 11, 2020 Published on August 11, 2020

Experts see experimental drug Remdesivir, early detections, new treatment protocols propelling recoveries

Amid all the fear and negativity around COVID-19, Gujarat’s latest numbers provide some respite.

For the past four days, the State health department’s data shows daily recoveries exceeding daily new infections.

This has pushed down the number of active cases to 14,170 on August 10, from the peak of 14,905 on August 7. The active cases’ ratio is also below 20 per cent, down from over 30 per cent at the end of May, during the lockdown period.

Reduced infectivity and awareness

Experts attribute the rise in recoveries and slowing down of new cases to the reduced infectivity of the coronavirus and growing immunity in the population, besides the availability of a range of experimental drugs.

Speaking to Businessline, Jaiprakash Shivahare, Commissioner of Health, Gujarat, said that the recoveries in the State have seen a particular pattern, growing on average every two weeks.

But on the phenomenon of daily recoveries exceeding new infections in the past few days, the top health official said that while safety awareness has increased among the people, there is also an improved understanding among the frontline healthcare teams, including doctors, on dealing with the disease.

“Over the days, we have observed that our doctors have a better understanding of the disease and have gained awareness on effective intervention. Also, we have a better treatment protocol now (than earlier),” he said.

On the use of experimental drugs, Shivahare said that Remdesivir is showing good results, thereby helping early recoveries and preventing critical conditions.

Interestingly, since August 1, as against a total of 10,682 new cases, Gujarat saw 10,469 recoveries, with average 10-day recovery rate of over 74 per cent.

Early detection has also helped cap the new cases in the State. “People are more aware now about the symptoms. Therefore we have early reporting and detection,” said Shivahare.

One million tests

Gujarat has conducted 10,17,134 tests so far. On Monday, the State tested total 29,604 samples, of which 1,056 were positive. Total positive cases in the State now stand at 72,120, with 2,674 deaths and 55,376 recoveries.

The case fatality rate has reduced to nearly half at 3.7 per cent on Monday as against 6.2 per cent reported on June 1. The State reported total 806 deaths since July 1 with an average case fatality rate of 4.5 per cent. It is still much higher than the national average of about 2 per cent.

MM Prabhakar, Medical Superintendent at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital — Gujarat’s largest State-run hospital — said, “The infectivity rate has gone down and immunity among the population is also growing. The virulence of the virus also seems to be going down. The CFR is going down because of the low infectivity and intensity of the virus.”

Prabhakar also highlighted that the growing immunity among the people indicates a case of increased anti-bodies among the population.

In May this year, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had conducted a serological survey to determine the presence of IgG antibodies among people. The survey found that only 17.61 per cent of the total 30,054 samples had IgG antibodies. This pointed to a possibility of a majority of the population being still “susceptible” to the virus.

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Published on August 11, 2020
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