Published on March 9, 2021

AHMEDABAD: There has been a record rise of 81% in Covid bed occupancy in private hospitals in the past week. On March 1, the occupancy of beds for Covid-19 patients was 165. By March 8 morning, the occupancy skyrocketed to 300.

The state is experiencing a third surge in Covid cases after the May to July and then in November last year. The daily Covid cases have increased by 35% between March 1 and 7. But the rise in hospital bed occupancy is attributed to the growing gap between the new and recovered patients.

Dr Bharat Gadhvi, president of Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA), claimed that the member hospitals of the organization had recorded an addition of 100 cases – from 100 to 200 – in 15 days from February 16 to March 3. The next 100 patients were added in just five days.

“The analysis of the bed occupancy also points at more than 85% of the cases from western city parts.”
State health department figures reveal that out of 3,140 active cases in Gujarat, 721 or 23% were from Ahmedabad as of March 7.

Experts attributed the surge to increased public movement, starting from the state-wide polls that got extended in the wedding season with gatherings sans masks or social distancing.

Dr Maharshi Desai, a city-based critical care specialist and member of the state government-appointed Covid-19 task force, said that the rise is reported in several parts of the country and even some regions of the world due to multiple factors. “But if we compared the past two surge in the cases to the present one, the severity of the disease and mortality is very low. We are still to observe the impact of the new strains on the cases,” he said.

“The pandemic is not over yet, and one must not lower their guards,” said Dr Amit Prajapati, a city-based critical care specialist. “Overall analysis of the current cases reveal that the patients are above 50 years of age and fewer patients require oxygen support. Fewer patients require multiple treatment protocols compared to earlier surge. But we must be on our guards,” he said.

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