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12,206 new cases, 121 deaths: Gujarat logs record one-day COVID spike; CM dismisses lockdown talks


AHMEDABAD: Gujarat reported 12,206 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest single-day count so far, while 121 patients succumbed to the infection, the most in a day, the state Health Department said.

This is for the first time that the one-day case tally has crossed the 12,000-mark in Gujarat.

The previous highest single-day count was 11,403 COVID-19 cases, recorded on April 19.

The number of cases in Gujarat rose to 4,28,178 with the addition of 12,206 infections, said a release by the department.

As many as 121 patients, also the highest in a day so far, succumbed to the infection, taking the death toll to 5,615, it said.

The previous highest one-day death count (117) was registered on April 19.

Surat district recorded 25 deaths, followed by 23 in Ahmedabad, 13 in Vadodara, 12 in Rajkot, 6 in Jamnagar and 4 each in Surendranagar and Gandhinagar, the release said.

Deaths from COVID-19 were also reported in 18 other districts of the state.

As many as 4,339 patients recovered from the infection during the day, taking the tally of discharge cases to 3,46,063, the department said.

Gujarat's COVID-19 recovery rate stood at 80.82 per cent.

The number of active cases rose to 76,500, of which 353 patients are on ventilators, while 76,147 are stable, the release said.

Ahmedabad city registered 4,631 new COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours, followed by 1,553 in Surat city, 764 in Rajkot city, 485 in Mehsana, 460 in Vadodara city, 375 in Surat district, 324 in Jamnagar city, 263 Banaskantha, 176 in Kutch and 173 in Gandhinagar city, the department said.

As many as 90.34 lakh people in the state have been given the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 15.56 lakh have received the second dose in Gujarat so far, said the release.

On Tuesday, 67,315 persons received the first dose, while 74,604 eligible beneficiaries got the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, it said.

In the adjoining Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, a record 302 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, said an official release.

Also, 87 patients recovered from the infection during the day, it said.

Out of the total 5,390 persons found positive for coronavirus in the Union Territory since the outbreak, four have died, 4,021 have recovered, while 1,365 patients are under treatment, said the release.

Gujarat's COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 4,28,178, new cases 12,206, deaths 5,615, discharged 3,46,063, active cases 76,500, people tested so far (figures not released).

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday said there was no immediate need for enforcing lockdown in the state.

Incidentally, the state chapter of the Indian Medical Association, in its submission to the Gujarat High Court during the day, had suggested that the Rupani government impose two-week lockdown to check the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking to reporters here, Rupani said, "We will think about imposing a lockdown if the need arises. At present, there is no such need. There is night curfew in place in 20 cities. And we will impose such curfews in other cities as well if cases rise."

"We have taken many steps to stem the spread of the virus. We have shut schools and colleges, malls, theatres, all kinds of gatherings and even bus services in major cities. I urge people not to come out of their homes until the situation improves," he added.

With April 25, 26 and 27 being seen, as per tradition, as favourable for marriages, Rupani warned that action will be taken against police officials if they fail to keep a check on the number of people attending wedding events, which, presently, is capped at 50 guests.

He also said that Dahod, in order to tackle the surge in cases, will soon get 300 additional beds with oxygen support as well as a CT (computerised tomography) scan machine.

Meanwhile, the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday questioned the state government's claim that there were enough beds for COVID-19 patients and sought to know why infected persons were still unable to get admitted, if beds were vacant.

In its submission on Tuesday, the state government informed the court that of 79,944 beds at COVID-19 hospitals and other care facilities in the state, 55,783 were occupied, while the rest were vacant.

Government pleader Manisha Shah made the submission during an online hearing on a PIL filed suo moto by the division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bhargav Karia on coronavirus situation two weeks ago.

"Complaints are coming, maybe you are also receiving that patients are not being admitted because there is no vacancy in hospitals. Beds are not available. The figures shared by you suggest that even designated hospitals have vacant beds," the bench told the state.

"(If that is true) then why are people running around, finding sources and recommendations for getting hospitals beds and treatment?" the bench asked the state.

The court also raised concerns about people's claims that 108 ambulances are now taking considerable time to pick up patients who are in a critical condition.

Moreover, the court also sought to know why critical patients were not taken in by government hospitals, if they came in private vehicles instead of '108' ambulances.

In the government's defence, Shah said that although beds were available at other facilities, some at a distance from patients' homes, people want to get admitted to specific hospitals, which results in full occupancy in those hospitals.

The government pleader also assured the court that the government has ensured adequate supply of medical oxygen and there was no scarcity of the life-saving gas at present.

A special control room has been set up at the Chief Minister's Office to monitor the oxygen supply to hospitals, she added.

On a query raised by the bench about RT-PCR testing, Shah informed that all districts have the facility to conduct these tests and the government conducts an average of 1.65 lakh tests, including around 75,000 RT-PCR tests, which are considered more accurate than antigen test.

Senior advocate Percy Kavina, who was allowed to share views of other High Court lawyers, expressed displeasure about the Centre's decision of discontinuing a scheme of providing insurance cover to "corona warriors" under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKP).

"Only 287 insurance claims were processed under the PMGKP, which is now being shut. Just 287 claims across the country? Though the new scheme is coming, but why not continue PMGKP?" Kavina asked.

After hearing all submissions, the court asked the government to file an affidavit and scheduled the next hearing on April 27.