Published on March 28, 2020

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat state health and family welfare department officials on Saturday morning announced six new positive cases in a matter of 12 hours, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 53.

Jayanti Ravi, principal secretary (health & family welfare), told media on Saturday morning that the new cases include three from Ahmedabad and one each from Gandhinagar, Mehsana and Vadodara. “Out of the total, the 66-year-old man from Vadodara had travel history to the UK whereas a 70-year-old man had come from Indore to Ahmedabad. Four other cases are of local transmission,” she said. Out of the new cases, five are males and one is female.

With the new cases, district-wise count for Gujarat is: 18 positive cases in Ahmedabad, 9 in Vadodara, 8 in Gandhinagar, 8 in Rajkot, 7 in Surat, and one each in Kutch, Bhavnagar and Mehsana. Gujarat has also recorded three deaths so far – one each in Surat, Ahmedabad and Bhavnagar.

“In a good news, three patients, all from Vadodara, were tested for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and they have tested negative in viral load. They would soon be discharged,” said Ravi.

Answering a question on the testing method and capacity of Gujarat for Covid-19 patients, Ravi said that so far, Gujarat has processed 993 samples out of which 53 are positive, 938 are negative and result for two is pending.

“We are following ICMR guidelines when it comes to testing and we want to assure that all the persons showing symptoms such as severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) associated with Covid-19 are being tested,” said Ravi. “The persons tested include those who have travel history –- domestic or international, those who have contacted helplines and those who were identified by our state-wide survey which has covered over 4 crore in Gujarat.”

In another answer related to supplies of protective gears in Gujarat, the principal secretary said that Gujarat is getting 30,000 odd N95 masks and 3 lakh triple-layer masks daily. “We are also getting 10,000 personal protection equipment (PPE) kits. On Saturday, an entire air cargo is being received from Delhi with fresh supplies. Thus, there is no shortage of essential protective gears in the state,” she said.

The four specialized Covid-19 hospitals in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot are functional now, said Ravi, adding that 194 ventilators in government setup and 619 in private setup are in ready condition for deployment. “Our total capacity today is 660 and 1739 ventilators in government and private setup respectively,” she said.

Ravi again appealed to the people of Gujarat to follow 21-day lockdown period stringently. “We have observed local transmission cases in the state. The virus has longer incubation period and thus we expect more cases in the state. The only way to stop this spread is to minimize contact and stay indoors,” she said. She added that those in any problem can approach state helplines for health emergencies (108), fever-related information (104) or supplies (1077).

Ravi also informed that the state government has launched two email ids –- and –- for the citizens to send in any health and Covid-19 related queries. The queries would be answered by a panel of expert state doctors, she said.

As on Saturday, the state has 19,340 persons under quarantine, the figure that came down from 20,103 a day before. The state health department officials said that it’s because several of those under home quarantine have completed their 14-day period. Similarly, 657 persons are under government-run quarantine facilities as punishment for flouting rules of home quarantine and the state police have registered 236 FIRs.

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