Published on June 15, 2021
AHMEDABAD: Till April 2021 – when the state began to feel the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in full force, the four major districts of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot accounted for 85% of the total Covid deaths. The surge proved to a great equalizer, as the share of the four districts in the next 5,000 cases fell to 55%.
“The statistics indicate a very high mortality in other districts of Gujarat. Against the overall mortality of 1.1% in the last 5,000 cases, Surendranagar recorded a mortality rate of 2.8%, Dang and Devbhoomi Dwarka 2.6.%, Botad and Sabarkantha 2.5%, and Morbi 2.4%,” said a city-based epidemiologist. “While Covid deaths remained high overall among the cities due to more cases, the mortality rate shot up in smaller districts with relatively fewer cases.”
Experts also pointed out the skewed geographic distribution of mortality. Saurashtra in the past two months saw relatively more deaths. For example, Surendranagar in the first 5,000 deaths recorded 16 deaths, compared to 120 in the second wave. Junagadh in the first wave had 37 deaths compared to 228 in the second. Ahmedabad had 2,542 deaths in the first wave and 841 in the second. Surat had 1,218 deaths in the first and 723 in the second.
“The numbers should be seen as an indicators – the actual mortality rate may be higher due to the fact that deaths when a patient is positive are relatively fewer compared to those from post-Covid impact ranging from heart attacks to blood clotting and lung fibrosis. The cause of death must be studied and the regional variation must also be considered to prepare for the third wave and reduce mortality,” said a city-based critical care specialist.