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Gujarat logs record 11,403 COVID-19 cases, 117 deaths; state ramps up Oxygen production

This is for the first time that the number of fresh coronavirus has crossed the 11,000-mark in a day in Gujarat.

Published: 20th April 2021 10:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th April 2021 10:08 AM   |  A+A-

Covid-19 patients watch a movie at a COVID Care Centre in Surat, Monday, April 19, 2021. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat recorded 11,403 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the highest one-day count so far, while 117 patients died due to the infection, the most in a day, the state Health Department said.

This is for the first time that the number of fresh coronavirus has crossed the 11,000-mark in a day in Gujarat.

The previous highest spike in a day was 10,340, recorded on April 18.

The number of cases in Gujarat has gone up to 4,15,972 with the addition of 11,403 new cases during the day, said a release by the Health Department.

Also, 117 COVID-19 patients succumbed to the infection in the last 24 hours, the highest so far, taking the death toll to 5,494, it said.

The previous highest single-day fatalities (110) were recorded on April 18.

Surat district recorded 30 deaths, followed by 23 in Ahmedabad, 11 in Vadodara, 10 in Rajkot, 7 in Jamnagar, 6 in Surendranagar, 3 each in Bharuch, Morbi, Gandhinagar, Bhavnagar, two each in Banaskantha, Chhotaudepur, Dang, Devbhumi Dwarka and Mehsana, and one each in Amreli, Anand, Arvalli, Botad, Junagadh, Panchmahal, Patan and Sabarkantha, the release said.

Ahmedabad city registered 4,207 new COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours, followed by 1,879 in Surat city, 663 in Rajkot city, 484 in Surat district, 426 in Vadodara city, 418 in Mehsana, 279 in Jamnagar city, 195 Banaskantha, 189 in Vadodara district, 169 Bharuch and 145 in Patan, it said.

As many as 4,179 patients were discharged during the day, taking the tally of recovered cases to 3,41,724 cases, the release said.

With a decline in recoveries as against new cases, Gujarat's COVID-19 recovery rate has gone down to 83.43 per cent, it said.

The number of active cases rose to 68,754, of which 341 patients are on ventilators, while 68,413 are stable, the release said.

As many as 89.59 lakh people in the state have been given the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines, while 14.79 lakh have received the second dose, said the release.

During the day, 72,341 persons received the first dose, while 69,895 eligible beneficiaries got the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, it said.

A total of 135 new cases were reported in the adjoining Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu in the last 24 hours, said a release by the authorities.

The release said 78 patients recovered from the infection during the day.

Out of total 5,085 persons found positive for coronavirus in the UT since the outbreak, four have died, 3,934 have recovered, while 1,147 patients are under treatment, said the release.

Gujarat's COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 4,15,972, new cases 11,403, deaths 5,494, discharged 3,41,724, active cases 68,754, people tested so far (figures not released).

The Ahmedabad civic body has procured 1,000 oxygen cylinders from Kutch district in Gujarat to add more oxygen beds in the city in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases, officials said on Monday.

To cope up with the shortage of medical oxygen in hospitals here, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has sought the support of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) to divert industrial oxygen for medical use, they said.

Apart from providing these oxygen cylinders to AMC-run hospitals, the civic body has also planned to provide them to private hospitals designated to treat coronavirus patients, the AMC said in a release.

"We have procured 1,000 oxygen cylinders from Kutch overnight. We will use these cylinders to convert the existing isolation beds in the civic-run hospitals into beds with oxygen supply," said senior IAS officer Rajiv Kumar Gupta, who is overseeing the AMC's coronavirus-related operations.

Gupta further said they would convert 500 existing beds into oxygen beds in the next two days.

With the support of the GPCB, the AMC has managed to divert around 1,500 oxygen cylinders, meant for industrial use, for medical purposes in the city, the civic body's release said.

Due to this, vendors will now have more oxygen cylinders to supply to private hospitals, it said.

The AMC, with the GPCB's help, has also activated a control room for better coordination between private hospitals, oxygen cylinder suppliers and re-fillers, it said.

The civic body is also providing vehicles on rent to those hospitals which need to transport 50 or more oxygen cylinders every day for refilling, the release added.

The state also slashed the charges of RT-PCR tests being conducted by private laboratories to Rs 900 from Rs 1,100, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said on Monday.

If a laboratory assistant is called at home or at the hospital to collect samples through RT-PCR test, the charges will be Rs 900 with effect from Tuesday, he told reporters in Gandhinagar.

Patel, who handles the Health portfolio, said a if a person visits a laboratory to give his swab sample, he will now be charged Rs 700 instead of Rs 800.

"Till now, the state government alone conducted 40.99 lakh RT-PCR tests and over 1.19 crore antigen tests free of cost," Patel said.

He said 11 state-run hospitals across Gujarat, including the civil hospital in Ahmedabad, will get the PSA oxygen generator plants soon to cope up with the rising demand for medical oxygen for COVID-19 patients.

Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) is a technology of generating enriched oxygen from the ambient air.

These plants inside hospital premises would generate oxygen which will be supplied to patients, he said.

Meanwhile, as many as 55 inmates and four staff members of the Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad have tested positive for coronavirus in the last one week, an official said on Monday.

A majority of the infected inmates are those who were lodged in the prison recently after being sent to judicial custody by courts hearing their cases, said Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sabarmati Jail, DV Rana.

An exercise to conduct RT-PCR tests on around 3,200 inmates of the jail is currently underway, he said.

"Fifty-five inmates, including convicts and undetrials, and four jail staff members were found infected with COVID-19 during the last one week.

"To stop the infection from spreading in the main campus, we keep newly-arrived inmates at an isolation area and send their samples for RT-PCR testing," said Rana.

"Almost 80 per cent the inmates who were found infected belong to this category. Remaining ones are those who were already in the jail," he said.

Rana said necessary steps are being taken to stop the spread of the virus in the jail premises.

A prominent bank employees' union has claimed that nearly 15,000 employees of banks have tested positive for coronavirus in Gujarat so far and over 30 of them died during the "second wave" in the last month.

In view of the current situation, the Maha Gujarat Bank Employees' Association (MGBEA) has put forward several demands, such as reduced cash hours, extra holidays and relaxation in working hours.

The union, associated with the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), sent a letter to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani seeking his intervention as the CM is the chairman of the State Level Banking Committee (SLBC).

In the letter, the MGBEA stated that around 50,000 bank employees are working in over 9,900 branches across Gujarat.

Following some reports that the new strain of COVID-19 is airborne, employees are now afraid of entering the branch premises or interacting with customers, it said.

While over 30 staffers have succumbed to the infection in the last one month, the entire staff of some of the branches was found coronavirus positive, the letter said.

The union urged Rupani to announce some relaxations in view of the second wave of coronavirus.

"To reduce human-to-human contact, banks should be allowed to deliver only essential services like cash deposit, withdrawal, transfer and clearing, so that less number of people visit bank branches," it stated.

To reduce the exposure of staff to the public, the union also demanded that cash hours should be restricted between 10 am and 1 pm only, and employees should be allowed to go home after business hours.

It demanded that all Saturdays be declared as holidays for the next two months.

If any staff member tests positive, the branch must be shut for at least 48 hours, the union demanded.

Gujarat has so far recorded 4,15,972 coronavirus positive cases and 5,494 fatalities, as per the state health department.



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