COVID-19 case spurt during Diwali puts strain on Guj hospitals

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Ahmedabad, Nov 16 (PTI) A sudden spike in new COVID-19 cases during Diwali festivities has put a strain on hospitals in Gujarat which is witnessing a rise in patient occupancy, prompting the state government to announce creation of more facilities to handle the situation, officials said on Monday.

Over 90 per cent beds in private hospitals are occupied, while government and municipal hospitals, too, are witnessing a surge in arrival of new patients, they said.

Concerned over the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state, especially in Ahmedabad and other districts of north Gujarat over the last few days, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who holds the health portfolio, on Monday held a review meeting with officials here.

He said new facilities will be created as per requirements and aggressive COVID-19 testing undertaken after Diwali vacation gets over to contain the spread of the virus.

'Since the last 3 to 4 days, there has been a rise in the number of coronavirus patients.

'The core committee that reviews coronavirus cases in Gujarat under the leadership of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has also expressed concern over the rise in new cases,' Patel told reporters after the meeting at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital.

The meeting reviewed preparedness to tackle the surge in new COVID-19 cases.

'Several districts of north Gujarat like Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Banaskantha have seen a rise in the number of COVId-19 cases.

'Two days after the festival, we will undertake testing on a large scale to contain the spread of the virus,' the health minister said.

Patel said this surge will need creation of more facilities as the government is committed to ensure that all patients get proper treatment.

He said in the coming days, a separate ward with 80- 100 beds equipped with ventilators will be set up in the 1,200-bed COVID Hospital at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital to cater to the influx of coronavirus patients.

'In AMC (Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation) hospitals, more patients are coming. Even private hospitals are occupied.

The daily cases had come down to 800, but the count has now increased to 1,100-1,200.

'Due to the Diwali vacation, families are going out and meeting relatives, creating the possibility of increase in the infection.

'The government is creating facilities to ensure that patients are provided proper treatment,' Patel said.

Hospitals in Ahmedabad are particularly witnessing a sudden surge in new cases during Diwali festivities.

As per the status of 71 private hospitals requisitioned by the AMC, over 90 per cent beds are already occupied. These hospitals are now diverting patients to government and municipal medical facilities.

As per the Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association, out of 2,206 beds available in these 71 hospitals, 2,003 are occupied as on date, an occupancy rate of 90.8 per cent.

In ICUs with ventilator, 25 beds are available and 146 occupied. In isolation wards, 81 beds are available, while 761 occupied, the association said.

As per Rakesh Joshi, assistant superintendent of the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, on Sunday night, 134 new patients were brought to the1,200-bed COVID facility.

Of these, 91 patients were in serious condition, Joshi said.

A total of 581 beds out of 1,200 in the civil hospital are occupied as on date, Health Minister Patel said, adding out of these, 170 patients are on ICU beds with a total 248 such beds available in the hospital.

Patel said in another civil hospital in Ahmedabad, 188 beds out of 450 set aside for COVID-19 patients are occupied.

Out of 80 ICUs, 17 are occupied, the minister said.

Similarly, in the Gandhinagar Civil Hospital, 196 beds are occupied out of 300 available there, Patel said, adding 20 patients are admitted in ICU.

Hospitals administrated by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation have also seen an increase in the number of patients, the officials said. PTI KA PD RSY RSY