Second wave: Gujarat Covid-19 situation, vaccination drive explained

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April 9, 2021 1:16 PM

Many parts of the state have been admitting mild to moderate cases for seven days and in severe cases up to 15 days.

covid-19 vaccineOn April 7, Gujarat administered 1.19 lakh doses, which is a significant decrease from inoculating 3 lakh people.

Over the last few days, the number of Coronavirus cases being reported in Gujarat has been unusually high with the state reporting 3,575 cases on April 7. This has been the highest Gujarat has reported for 24 hours so far. When compared to March 20, when cases were 1,565, the number of Covid-19 cases has almost doubled, as per the Indian Express report. The numbers have also increased six times to what they were a month ago. This led to the Gujarat high court proposing a lockdown for 3-4 days in order to curb the transmission. Following this, the state government has imposed a night curfew in 20 cities of Gujarat- which will last till April 30.

The second wave of Covid-19 hit many parts of India including Gujarat. The impact on this state has been so much so that there is nearly one per cent growth on an average between daily caseload. With the rapid spread of viral infection, the situation has become worrisome for many. One of the main reasons that is being attributed to the rigorous spread is the mutation of the Coronavirus. Also, more cases are now seen among the younger population. In fact, many private practitioners in Ahmedabad are concerned about the increasing pediatric and neonatal (infant less than four weeks) patients being affected with the virus. However, the transmission continues to dominate the adult population (mainly people above 50 years of age).

Many parts of the state have been admitting mild to moderate cases for seven days and in severe cases up to 15 days. As a result, hospital beds are running out fast. Cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot are the worst hit. Ahmedabad city’s private hospitals are now left with less than 18 per cent of ICU beds that are vacant across 100 hospitals.

Till April 2, 16.77 lakh doses had been administered in Gujarat and starting April 1, 3 lakh doses in a day were administered. However, in the last few days, the vaccination has reduced owing to some shortage in vaccine stock. On April 7, Gujarat administered 1.19 lakh doses, which is a significant decrease from inoculating 3 lakh people.

In order to curb the transmission of the novel Coronavirus, the medical fraternity, according to the report, has opined that the government should open vaccination for everyone above 18 years. The request came because people across age groups are now being infected and there is some kind of unpredictability when it comes to case outcomes. At this point, people who are young have been going out and working as they can no longer afford missing work, said a government hospital doctor. Therefore, vaccinating all has become imperative. Dr Rashmi Sharma, Associate Professor of Community Medicine Department at Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS) in Ahmedabad has also warned about the same and further said that with increased infection spread, the opportunity for the virus to mutate also heightens, causing more new variants.

It is to note that there is no concrete evidence yet that can explain the latest surge might have been because of the newer variants. Meanwhile, infectious disease and community medicine experts are looking at rapid genome sequencing.

On the vaccination front, Dr Rakesh Joshi, Additional Medical Superintendent at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital has suggested that there should be a ‘cocoon vaccination strategy’ and under this, ineligible candidates including children, pregnant and lactating women, are given vaccinations.

Some experts in Gujarat are of the view that noticing any unusual symptom should be considered as a high index of suspicion for Covid-19. Earlier, the symptoms for Covid-19 mainly included respiratory symptoms but now gastrointestinal symptoms, along with common weakness and conjunctivitis are also taken into account for early diagnosis and treatment for the infection.

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