Published on April 17, 2020

AHMEDABAD: On Friday morning, Gujarat crossed 1,000 positive cases with 92 new cases recorded in past 12 hours taking the state’s tally to 1,021. Gujarat also recorded two deaths, taking the state’s death toll to 38.

Jayanti Ravi, principal secretary (health & family welfare), said that the new cases include 45 from Ahmedabad, 14 from Surat, 9 from Vadodara, 8 from Bharuch, 5 from Narmada, 3 from Botad, 2 from Panchmahal and 1 each from Anand, Chhota Udepur, Dahod, Kheda, Mahisagar and Patan.
“The two deaths have been reported from Vadodara and Ahmedabad. Vadodara patient was 31 years of age who died at SSG Hospital whereas a 55-year-old man died at Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad,” said Ravi. Both the patients had co-morbidity in form of hypertension, said health department officials.

The new positive cases are reported from Kalupur, Khamasa, Raikhad, Vatva, Chandkheda, Jamalpur, Vejalpur, Dariyapur, Khanpur and Nikol in Ahmedabad, Sarthana, Rander, Varachcha and Udhna in Surat, Nagarwada and Salatwada in Vadodara, Umreth in Anand and Nadiad in Kheda.

Officials said that out of total positive cases, 38 are dead, 74 are discharged and 901 are stable. Remaining 8 are on ventilator and are considered to be critical.

Ravi said that the high number of positive cases are due to intensive testing. “In past 24 hours, Gujarat carried out 1,608 tests out of which 150 were found to be positive. Cumulatively, 21,812 tests have been done so far,” she said.

The principal secretary said that they expect to get the rapid antibody testing (RAT) kits from Delhi in later half of Friday. “We expect to carry out about 500 pilot tests in Ahmedabad today. The test would help identify potential positive cases quickly,” she said. “Out of total, about 80% of the cases don’t show any symptoms. Another 15% have symptoms such as fever, cough, respiratory issues, etc. In remaining 5% cases, ventilator is required due to critical condition of the patient.”

Ravi said that Gujarat has also sought permission for plasma transfusion in patients on ventilator. “The method has worked in Kerala based on ICMR directives. We have proposed the same for Civil Hospital where a team led by Dr Kamlesh Upadhyay would carry out the treatment protocol,” she said. “The treatment is primarily to strengthen the antibodies that fight against the infection. In the past, blood transfusion was successfully used during Spanish Flu treatment.”

In another treatment protocol, Ravi said that they would discuss testing of almost all the patients for surgeries in the high-powered committee of the state so as to reduce the chances of infection in hospitals. The idea was already proposed by a group of doctors at Civil Hospital of Ahmedabad.

Ravi said that compared to the initial days of lockdown, now the citizens are found to be flouting the rules more. “I want to request the citizens to adhere to the lockdown rules and not to venture out for flimsy reasons. Mortality of the disease is not high but senior citizens and those with low immunity are vulnerable. The easing of lockdown on April 20 would be difficult if the rules are not followed,” she said.

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