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Gujarat Covid-19 death toll nears 1,000, Ahmedabad reports 800

The Covid-19 toll in the state is far higher than any other state when compared with total cases detected

GANDHINAGAR : Gujarat's Covid-19 death toll is set to touch the 1,000-mark. With an average 26 deaths a day in May, the toll has soared to 986 with Ahmedabad accounting for 80% of it. It has reported almost 800 deaths.

The Covid-19 toll in the state is far higher than any other state when compared with total cases detected.

Gujarat's mortality rate at 6.14% is far higher than the national 2.85% ate. It's also far higher than other developed states, like Maharashtra (where the largest number of cases and deaths have been reported) with 3.37% mortality rate, Tamil Nadu (0.77 %), Delhi (2.28 %), Karnataka (1.72%), Punjab (1.91%), Kerala (0.78%), Telangana (2.92%) and Andhra Pradesh (1.73%).

Even the states, considered not so developed, like Rajasthan (2.19%), MP (4.36%) and UP (2.69%) have fared better than Gujarat.

Only West Bengal has higher mortality rate at 6.27%. But it has never made any claims of being a model state.

Of the total deaths, 798 (81.42%) have been reported from Ahmedabad, which also accounts for the highest number of cases at 11,597 in the state. The mortality rate in Ahmedabad is 6.88%.

The first coronavirus death was reported on March 23. An elderly man from Surat died after getting infected during an inter-state air travel. It was four days after the first two positive cases were detected in Gujarat on March 19.

According to sources, the majority of deaths occurred in the Ahmedabad Civil hospital, Asia's largest hospital. According to a PIL in the Gujarat High Court, 60% of the Ahmedabad Covid-19 deaths occurred in this hospital.

The Gujarat High Court in its interim order had lambasted Health Minister Nitin Patel and Health Secretary Jayanti Ravi for the laxity and the rising number of deaths in the hospital.

Such is the situation that Covid-19 patients now fear getting admitted to that hospital.

So far, Surat has accounted for 67 deaths, Vadodara (39), Gandhinagar (13), Anand (10), Bhavnagar (8) and Panchmahals (6).

But why this high mortality despite toll claims made by the state government that patients are being treated with utmost care?

"The state government is doing its best. You should also consider that people's mentality and lifestyle also play a major role. Most deceased in Gujarat had comorbidity due to lifestyle diseases, like hypertension and diabetes. Gujarat has the largest number of diabetics in the country. Obesity is also very high compared with other states," said Dr Parthiv Mehta, senior pulmonologist and a member of the Technical Subject Experts, Gujarat Covid-19 Response Cell.

"The awareness and consciousness about health is also low among Gujaratis compared with people of other states," Mehta said.

Amid rising cases and deaths, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had sought help from Union Home minister Amit Shah. It led to visit of a two-member team from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The team also guided the health officials and personals of the state's hospitals in the initial days of May.

The Gujarat government on May 12 also set up a panel for a proper research to find the reasons of high mortality.

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