Coronavirus | Situation in Gujarat is turning grimmer by the day

Scarcity of hospital beds, oxygen supply and medicines like Remdesivir injections in major cities

April 14, 2021 11:44 pm | Updated 11:44 pm IST - AHMEDABAD

 Cars lined up in a queue for drive-through COVID-19 testing, amid a spike in coronavirus cases in Ahmedabad, Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

Cars lined up in a queue for drive-through COVID-19 testing, amid a spike in coronavirus cases in Ahmedabad, Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

The COVID-19 situation in Gujarat is turning grimmer by the day. On Wednesday, the numbers saw a massive jump with 7,410 cases and 73 deaths while the number of patients recovered has remained stagnant at 2,642.

The number of active cases stands at 39,250. The rise in cases across the main cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara has led to scarcity of hospital beds, oxygen supply and shortage of medicines like Remdesivir injections.

“The second wave is ferocious and sparing no one. There are too many deaths occurring in the State,” said a top medical practitioner from Ahmedabad. He said there appears no sign of the infection reaching its peak in the next few weeks, which means the situation will only worsen with more cases and deaths.

There appears complete mismatch between the government data about the deaths and the figures being reported from the fields. For example, on Monday, as per the government figures, the State had 55 deaths while the figures from the crematoria and burial grounds suggest that around 480 bodies were disposed of as per the pandemic protocols.

In cities like Surat, Ahmedabad and Rajkot, the crematoria are working round the clock to avoid long queues.

According to doctors, the government data of deaths captures only those who died of COVID-19 without any co-morbid conditions. “Those who have COVID-19 but also suffer from any comorbid condition like diabetes or hypertension, then the cause of death is attributed to the co-morbidity,” a medical practitioner told The Hindu .

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, however, has maintained that the State follows the ICMR guidelines in counting the deaths.

The Ahmedabad Medical Association in a letter to the Chief Minister urged him to urgently address the shortage of oxygen supply in all COVID-19 hospitals across the city as the situation is going from bad to worse.

“If such conditions persist, the toll will rise and violence against doctors will increase and doctors will be forced to shut down their hospitals due to lack of oxygen supply which in turn will make the present scenario worse,” said the letter addressed to the Chief Minister.

In fact, the shortage of oxygen and Remdesivir injection supply is rampant across the State. In other cities also, the hospitals are struggling to procure adequate quantity of oxygen as the number of patients requiring it is rising.

The government, however, has reserved 70% of the oxygen produced in the State for healthcare sector while only 30% will be used for industrial sector. The medical fraternity, however, believes that the State must divert 100% supply to the hospitals for at least two months to meet the growing demand.

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