Second wave much more lethal and infectious than the first one, says official
The COVID-19 second wave has taken a tight grip over Gujarat where the infection and fatality are rising sharply across the State. On Thursday, the State recorded its highest single-day case count of 4,021 cases and 35 deaths while the active cases have jumped to 20,473.
However, the official death figures provided by the Health Department in its daily bulletin appear highly under-reported given the situation in cities like Surat where bodies are sent to nearby town Bardoli for cremation due to long queues at the city’s crematoria and burial grounds.
On Thursday, as per the official bulletin, 14 deaths were reported in Surat but the local media reports suggest that around 100 people have been dying in the Diamond city per day since the last few days. “It is an extremely challenging situation in Surat because of the rise in cases and deaths,” a local municipal councillor told The Hindu.
He said there are no beds available in hospitals, no space at crematoria and no medicines like remdesivir injection, shortage of ventilators and ICU beds.
The situation is no better in other cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar or Bhavnagar. The local media reports in dailies and TV channels show a large number of bodies waiting to be cremated while no beds available in hospitals.
“The second wave is much more lethal and infectious than the first one,” a senior official said, adding that the State authorities have taken drastic steps, augmented capacities in the cities and things will start improving in the next two weeks.
In Ahmedabad, the municipal corporation has added 1,219 beds in 18 private hospitals for the infected. The hospitals will reserve 50% beds for patients referred by the AMC, while they can admit patients on their own in the remaining beds.
Patients admitted on reserved beds won’t have to pay the hospital and their treatment charges will be borne by the AMC.
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