Guj virus situation better than Italy, Spain, France: Official

Ahmedabad, Apr 26 (PTI) Gujarat, which has nearly the same population as Italy, France and Spain, reported less number of COVID-19 cases in 35 days after detection of the first case in the state as compared to the three European countries, a state health department official said on Sunday.

This is mainly due to measures like lockdown and containment strategy for people returning from abroad, state principal secretary (health) Jayanti Ravi told reporters.

The coronavirus cases in Gujarat rose to 3,071 in 35 days since the first patient was found, compared to 80,536 in Italy, 56,972 in France, and 94,410 cases in Spain, she said.

The population of Italy is 6.04 crore, France-6.5 crore, Spain-4.7 crore, while the population of Gujarat is 6.25 crore, the official informed.

'It shows that several factors, like lockdown and containment of people returning from abroad by getting them immediately quarantined and isolated, have helped contain spread of the disease,' the official said.

Factors like the use of BCG vaccine and warmer climate in Gujarat compared to these three European countries may have also played a role in curbing the virus spread, she said, adding that 'this comparison is just for our information'.

Gujarat has so far reported the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country after Maharashtra.

Till Saturday, there were 3,071 coronavirus cases in Gujarat, compared to 7,628 cases in Maharashtra.

Besides, Gujarat has so far reported 133 COVID-19 deaths, the second highest after Maharashtra where 323 people have died.

Gujarat reported its first double-digit single day jump in coronavirus cases on April 4, when 17 new cases were reported.

On April 10, it reported its first three-digit single day jump of 124 cases, and on April 18 recorded its highest single-day jump of 332 cases.

Ravi said the state government is prepared to deal with higher number of coronavirus cases, and has created infrastructure for the same.

As many as 10,500 beds have been set up across 61 hospitals in the state to deal with such patients, along with 22,385 beds in 150 COVID care centres for asymptomatic patients, she said.

The coronavirus testing capacity has also been increased to 3,770 samples per day, compared to 150 samples per day during the first week of the outbreak, she said. PTI KA PD BNM GK GK