Published on April 14, 2020

Ahmedabad: Covid-19 has claimed 26 lives so far and has over 500 infected cases as on Monday evening in Gujarat. But amid the coronage, you might want to see a silver lining — EMRI 108 data shows that there has been reduction of an average of 238 cases of road traffic accidents (RTA) daily. This averages to reduction in number of vehicular accidents by 4,760 in past 20 days of lockdown, said EMRI officials. Experts say rough calculations indicate that this might have saved some 1,900 lives.

According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures, Gujarat has recorded RTA mortality ranging from 38.5% to 46% in past five years, said Amit Khatri, a city-based road safety expert. In the past five years, average 21,900 road accidents were recorded annually in which 9,100 people were killed.

“Going by the figure, even if we take 40% as probable mortality percentage, some 1,900 lives might have got saved. Of course, this is mere hypothesis but gives an idea of the number of accidents on state roads and lives lost on regular days,” said Khatri, adding that Gujaratis should now be more careful even after the lockdown is lifted.

Jashvant Prajapati, COO of EMRI Gujarat, said that vehicular trauma cases have got reduced by 57% during the lockdown. “We record about 417 such cases daily from Gujarat which got reduced to 179. On daily basis, the vehicular trauma cases have dropped from 350 in March end to 120,” he said. “However, this figure too is still high considering the restriction on movement of vehicles.”

Prajapati said that except vehicular trauma case, all other categories of medical emergencies have reported a rise. “Calls related to high fever have gone up by 167% whereas calls for breathing problem increased by 51%. For other categories, one of the factors could be closure of nearby clinics and lack of access,” he said.

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