Published on May 03, 2021
AHMEDABAD: It was the second consecutive day for Gujarat to record a drop in daily Covid-19 cases on Sunday. In 24 hours, the state recorded 12,978 new cases, a drop of 6.3% from the previous day. It was also the lowest daily tally in 11 days for the state. More importantly, the daily mortality got reduced from 172 to 153 in 24 hours, a drop of 11%.
The drop was primarily driven by a major reduction in urban areas – Rajkot city recorded a dip of 33.8% in a day, followed by 16.8% in Surat, 6% in Ahmedabad and 4.4% in Vadodara. The cities account for twothirds of the daily tally, reveal analysis. Experts attributed the drop partially to drop in daily testing – which had reached 1.5 lakh on Saturday from 1.6 lakh on Friday.
On the other hand, the number of active cases increased steadily to 1.47 lakh. “The silver lining is, there is a rapid rise in recovery rate. On Sunday, Gujarat added 1,832 new patients, which were 7,569 a week ago,” said a city-based expert.
However, there is not much bearing of the reduction on the city-based hospitals where oxygen supply has still remained Achilles’ heel. A senior city-based doctor said that some of the hospitals have stopped taking patients with high oxygen demand. “The reason is the same supply can be given to three patients with moderate requirements. No one wishes to send any patient back, but a few hospitals are forced to take drastic measures,” said the doctor on condition of anonymity.
Two major government hospitals – Sola Civil Hospital and Gandhinagar Civil Hospital – have in the past few days been forced to restrict the number of patients under treatment due to oxygen supply. The authorities however maintained that the facilities are soon to be ramped up.
“Today oxygen has become the single most focal point for many mid-level hospitals that solely depend on cylinder supplies,” said Dr Ishan Shah, director of Sushrusha Hospital. “In fact, the expenses have increased five times in one month due to overheads such as refiling charges to keeping an ‘oxygen fleet’ which continuously goes from one bottler to another to ensure that the hospital doesn’t run out of the gas,” he said. He suggested that the authorities can think of a mechanism such as an oxygen dashboard on the lines of Covid bed availability dashboard to show which plant has how much stock and which hospitals are running out of oxygen.
Dr Rohit Joshi, chairman of Aarna Hospital, said that a mid-sized hospital requires 100-150 bottles a day. “Patients with higher oxygen requirements have increased during this wave. The evenings and nights for many hospital administrators often are spent arranging cylinders,” he said, adding that the at-home patients have also emerged as the consumers for cylinders. “They should be advised to use oxygen concentrators instead of cylinders, as not all know the technical know-how.”