Published on Page 1, 2020

AHMEDABAD: The state recorded second sharpest spike in cases on Wednesday with eight new positive Covid-19 cases in a matter of 12 hours, taking the total number of cases from Gujarat to 82. Earlier, on March 23 the state had recorded 11 positive cases, highest so far in a day.

Jayanti Ravi, principal secretary (health & family welfare), told media on Wednesday morning that all eight cases were recorded from Ahmedabad. “Out of the total, a 54-year-old man has a foreign travel history, four others have domestic travel history in the recent past and three are cases of local transmission,” she said.

With the new cases, Ahmedabad now has 31 cases, followed by 11 in Gandhinagar, 10 in Surat, 10 in Rajkot, 9 in Vadodara, 6 in Bhavnagar, 2 in Gir Somnath, 1 in Kutch, 1 in Mehsana and 1 in Porbandar. Out of the total, 6 have succumbed to the infection whereas 6 have got recovered and are discharged.

Ravi said that so far, Gujarat has tested 1,586 samples out of which 82 are positive, 1,501 are negative and result for 3 is pending. A total of 19,206 persons are currently under home, private or government-run quarantine facilities in the state.

“We expect to add about 1,000 ventilators in our healthcare system. For operating it, we would need about 3,000 skilled human resources. As a step to ensure that, we have identified 9,000-odd persons and have started training them. In Ahmedabad, we have started training 800 persons including doctors, physiotherapists, dentists and AYUSH doctors,” said Ravi. “Similarly, in Rajkot and Vadodara the efforts are on.”

Ravi said that on the helpline 1,100 – launched by the state health department – they have received 392 calls for mental health issues and 176 for physical health issues in 24 hours.

Answering a question on distribution that started from April 1 at Fair Price Shops, Ravi said that they have asked the operators not to insist on fingerprint for distribution and provide essentials on the cards.

After the Markaz at Delhi by Tablighi Jamaat, the state has also started widespread screening of persons who have returned from Delhi after attending the meet in first week of March. “We have already appealed to the persons who might have returned from the meet to come forward proactively so that we can carry out health check-ups. Identification of the persons is on,” said Ravi.

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