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Gujarat's public health infrastructure under stress amid surge of Covid cases

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on April 08, 2021

Government hospitals restrict new hospitalisations; to ensure bed availability for Covid patients

Gujarat's public healthcare infrastructure came under severe stress as new cases continue to mount, thereby prompting the Government to augment Covid-19 bed facilities for growing hospitalisations.

On Wednesday, Gujarat reported record single day rise of 3575 new cases and 22 deaths, taking the total active cases in the state to 18,684.

The number of active cases in the State has more than doubled within past fortnight from 8823 on March 24. Total cumulative cases in the State has reached 3,28,453, of which 3,05,149 have been cured and 4620 people have lost lives so far as on April 7.

Steps taken

In order to make room for the Covid-19 patients, Gujarat government and civic authorities of Ahmedabad and Surat have started shutting down other indoor patient services to make way for covid-19 hospitalisations.

"We have taken an important decision to dedicate the 1,000-bed SardarVallabhbhai Patel (SVP) hospital in Ahmedabad exclusively for Covid-19 patients. Hospitalisations for other ailments will be suspended and the existing patients under treatment will be discharged or shifted in a phased-manner," Nitin Patel, Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat told media persons during his visit to Ahmedabad Civil Hospital on Thursday.

Patel, who also holds the health portfolio, admitted that the number of cases are surging faster and health infrastructure has come undre pressure thereby requiring the authorities to prioritize covid-19 hospitalisations over other ailments.

"In the next about four days, Ahmedabad will have additional 1332 covid beds across hospitals," he added. In March last year, the government had set up a 1200-bed dedicated Covid hospital in Ahmedabad civil hospital campus, which has reached its limit with patients being put on waiting.

Ahmedabad is witnessing a sharp surge in the new infections with daily average nearly 800 cases reported for past three consecutive days.

Hospitals in Surat too are seen facing excessive stress. The New Civil Hospital in Surat on Thursday suspended all Outdoor Patient Department (OPD) services and allowed only emergency and Covid-19 services till further orders.

Apart from the beds, demand for covid medications and ventilators has also shot up in past one week. Amidst cries of shortage of remdesivir injections across private and government hospitals, Gujarat government stated that over 37,000 injections were supplied in the trade, and about 35,000 injections were arranged for the State health department. Patel informed that the State has placed an order of 300,000 remdesivir injections to various companies.

While oxygen supplies remained strained in the State, the government mandated all oxygen producers to reserve 70 per cent of the supplies for hospitals.

In State headquarter, Gandhinagar, Cabinet Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, State Home Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja among other senior government functionaries and several officers and staff members at State Secretariat have been infected with the coronavirus.

Published on April 08, 2021

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