Published on April 2, 2021

AHMEDABAD: As the state climbed yet another high at 2,410 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, the hospital beds are fast filling up – Ahmedabad-based private hospitals recorded 64% occupancy, whereas two major hospitals – Civil Hospital and Sola Civil Hospital – reached 50% of their capacity with surge in the cases.

One of the reasons for the surge in hospitalization is believed to be a changing virus. While the third surge was believed to be all about spread and less severity, some of the patients are getting admitted with high viral load, city-based experts point out. Out of 2,090 patients in 90 private hospitals of Ahmedabad, 23% were on either ventilator or in ICU. In government-run hospitals, the ratio was nearly the same.

The silver lining is the mortality has not increased significantly. Compared to 10 positive patients who succumbed to the virus out of every 1,000 patients in the post-Diwali period, the current mortality is 3 deaths per 1,000 cases.

Dr Mueskh Maheshwari, a city-based pathologist and member of Indian Medical Association (IMA) Gujarat executive committee, said that even in the cases with moderate symptoms, the CT severity score is in the range of 17 to 24, which is relatively higher. “It could be one of the reasons that the spread is faster. We have witnessed many families where over three to four members are under treatment,” he said, adding that CRP score however has remained lower, reducing mortality in such cases.

Dr Pradip Patel, CMO at Sola Civil Hospital, said that compared to the past week, more patients require hospitalization. “Several patients – including those below 50 years – come with high viral load. Treatment protocol however has not changed compared to the past two surges,” he said.

“Earlier, the ratio of hospitalization to home isolation was about 1:5, but now it would be 1:1 or 1:2. The change could be attributed to moderate to severe symptoms manifested,” said Dr Bharat Gadhvi, president of Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA), adding that the hospitalization due to Covid-19 has increased steadily.

“If the severity is high, we advise the patients to get admitted,” said Dr Kartikeya Parmar, in-charge of 1200-bed Covid-19 hospital at Civil Hospital campus. “We advise the persons with even milder symptoms to get tested so that Covid-19 is detected early. With change in signs and milder symptoms, several of the patients knew that they were positive only when their symptoms turned severe,” he said.

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