234 new COVID-19 cases take Ahmedabad tally to 2,777; 9 die

(Eds: Updates with details) Ahmedabad, Apr 29 (PTI) The COVID-19 death toll in Ahmedabad rose to 137 on Wednesday with nine more people succumbing, while the number of cases increased to 2,777 with the detection of 234 fresh infections, the state health department said.

Ahmedabad district reported 234 novel coronavirus cases and nine deaths in the last 24 hours, according to figures put out by the health department.

With this, the case count has risen to 2,777 and the fatality tally to 137.

Ahmedabad city, the worst-affected by coronavirus in Gujarat, had registered 19 deaths and 164 new cases on Tuesday.

Out of the nine persons who have died, four were women and five men. Of the nine, two, a 45-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man, had no underlying health conditions, the statement said.

A total of 22 patients - 13 men and 9 women - were discharged on Wednesday from city hospitals, taking the number of those recovered from the disease to 263, it said.

City civic authorities said high number of deaths can be avoided if positive patients get admitted in hospitals as soon as they develop symptoms of the infection.

If a person experiences any symptoms of COVID-19, he or she should immediately rush to a civic hospital. It is important to seek timely treatment, if lives are to be saved,' municipal commissioner Vijay Nehra said on Wednesday after the city reported 19 deaths on Tuesday.

The senior civic official had earlier said the high COVID-19 mortality rate in Ahmedabad was due to late admission of patients at hospitals.

At 5 per cent, Ahmedabad's COVID-19 mortality rate is higher than the country's, which is 3 per cent.

Of the 197 coronavirus deaths in Gujarat so far, Ahmedabad alone has recorded 137, while of the 4082 cases in the state, the city has 2777.

Meanwhile, in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the city, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has decided to cancel licences of shops whose owners and employees are found working without masks from May 1.

Fines ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 will be imposed on owners or employees of establishments who are found without masks, while employees of super markets who flout the rule will be fined Rs 50,000, Nehra said.

Licences of vendors and shops will be suspended for three months if they continue to violate the rule, he said.

Nehra termed vegetable vendors, shop owners, employees of petrol pumps and medical stores as 'super spreaders', as they come in contact with several people and can infect thousands if they have COVID-19.

'We have identified 7,793 people who fall in the category of super spreaders in 48 wards of the city. We have tested 2,098 such persons, of which 115 were found to have contracted the deadly infection,' he said, adding the drive to identify super spreaders will continue.

The civic body will distribute masks and sanitisers to vendors and shop owners who supply essential items, he said.