Ahmedabad records second highest Covid-19 deaths in country
State health department officials are attributing the higher number of deaths to dominance of L-type of Covid-19 strain, which was found in Wuhan in China, from where the world’s first Covid cases were reported in December 2019.Updated: Apr 28, 2020 07:39 IST
Ahmedabad, is second on two Covid-19 death counts --- the most people who have died because of the coronavirus disease after Mumbai and highest death rate after Pune.
State health department officials are attributing the higher number of deaths to dominance of L-type of Covid-19 strain, which was found in Wuhan in China, from where the world’s first Covid cases were reported in December 2019.
A scientist at the State-run Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC), said the novel coronavirus used for genome sequencing conducted by it was found to contain the L-type strain.
“The coronavirus sample we collected from a patient for genome sequence contained the L-type strain. This strain has a much higher virulence as compared to the S-strain,” CG Joshi, director of GBRC. “The L-type strain has been dominant where more mortality is reported among coronavirus patients. This strain was found to be more prevalent in Wuhan.”
Jayanti Ravi, principal secretary (health) said “scientists and medical experts are carrying out more research on this issue.”
Till Monday evening, Gujarat reported 3548 Covid-19 positive cases and 162 deaths, of which 109 are from Ahmedabad alone.
In Ahmedabad, from April 21 to April 27, there was a rise of 89.79% in the total Covid-19 positive cases.
In the same period, the number of deaths in the city increased by 186.84%. The mortality rate in Ahmedabad is 4.8%, second highest after Pune and at par with that in another Covid hotspot, Indore in Madhya Pradesh.
Ravi said 89% of the total COVID-19 cases are from Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara, even though 30 of the 33 districts are affected. “Ahmedabad accounts for 65%, Surat accounts for 16% and 8% are from Vadodara. The remaining 27 districts account for 11% of the total positive cases. Amreli, Junagadh and Devbhoomi Dwarka remain unaffected.”
An official of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation(AMC) said the city has adopted the so-called EPIC approach -- enhanced testing, intensive surveillance, proactive detection and corona checkposts.
“As a corollary to this approach, it was all but natural that reported cases would go up as we proactively discover more. But at the same time, utility of this strategy must be appreciated in that it helps us in locating the cases before they do large scale damage through community spread. Just to give a perspective, we have done 3,250 plus tests per million so far which is more than double what the next highest figure in city like Delhi has done at around 1500 per million,” said Vijay Nehra, commissioner, AMC.
Director General of Police (DGP), Shivanand Jha, said that with the number of Covid cases increasing in Ahmedabad , a near-total curfew has been imposed in hotspots. “It is necessary for the citizens to cooperate with the police and maintain social distance. Citizens can go out every two or three days to buy essential items but not every day,” he said.