After its first case in March, Gujarat reported 10,000 cases by May 15, with 70 per cent of them in Ahmedabad. By June 30, the case burden began shifting towards Surat, with the reopening of industries. State tally stood at 32,000 then.
Over five months after the primary Covid-19 case was reported in Gujarat the amount of cases within the state crossed one lakh on Thursday, when several districts are battling rising infection and manpower crunch, whilst the cities where the spread began are comparatively in check with timely intervention from the state health department and central teams.
The district without a government medical college or hospital, reported 1,300 cases, of which over 1,000 were added in July and August, and had to believe revenue department officials for monitoring home isolation patients.
According to Rajesh, the district relies totally on the school of CU Shah Medical College, a personal institution with 250 beds, and hospitals in other talukas with 800 more beds.
“Patients in home isolation are given pulse oximeters with the instruction to call us if their oxygen saturation level drops. we’ve also formed eight teams who make WhatsApp video calls daily with a questionnaire, to see on them,” says Rajesh.
With the cases crossing one lakh, several districts claim that the infection spread due to free movement of individuals and reopening of industries.
Most of the districts saw a selection in July and August, with Amreli, Junagadh and Surendranagar in Saurashtra being the newest to ascertain a surge, attributed to reverse migration from Surat also as reopening of industries, consistent with the district administration.
Bharuch, which recorded nearly 700 cases in August and another 600 cases in July, is relying largely on private facilities and personal doctors whilst the district health officials voiced “lack of cooperation from the Indian Medical Association (IMA) local branch”. The district continues to send resources to Ahmedabad.
“We placed advertisements for recruiting doctors twice but nobody expressed interest. We are also requested the state health department for manpower several times but nothing came out. The Bharuch Civil Hospital may be a Covid centre and two private hospitals — Jayaben Modi Hospital and Al-Mahmud Hospital in Jambusar — are largely running on their own staff and doctors,” said a health official.
HK Bhavsar is the additional director of medical services, says, “Bharuch never made any representation to us, seeking manpower on deputation. Local administration can recruit more, tie-up with local IMA branches and personal doctors.”
Principal secretary, health and family welfare, Jayanti Ravi, is currently camping in Rajkot, which has been reporting around 100 cases per day for every week and is being directly monitored by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
According to Dr Raghavendra Dixit, additional director of medical education, who is in Rajkot, the city, which has over 2,100 active patients, has roped in around 30 undergraduate students for Covid-19 duty.
VG Vanzara is also director of medical education of the state health department, said 213 doctors were selected for contractual appointments, but said he didn’t have details as appointments were under the jurisdiction of the health commissioner. Health commissioner Jaiprakash Shivahare didn’t answer calls.
IMA Gujarat chapter president, Dr Chandresh Jardosh, said that the association has provided services across the state in 3 ways — on-call duty, rotational duty and teleconsultation — with nearly 500 doctors volunteering their services, of the 2,900 within the state.
However, Jardosh cites several factors, including “rude behaviour from several district collectors, no remuneration for services and an differential treatment from government authorities” as a number of the explanations for non-participation from private doctors.
In the tribal district of the Narmada, at one point one government physician treated 100 indoor patients, said district collector MR Kothari. Narmada added over 500 cases in July and August, hitting a peak around July 23, consistent with Kothari. it’s 68 active patients at the present , and no Covid deaths thus far . the opposite district with zero deaths is that the tribal district of Dang.
“We got support at list from IMA and now have two physicians. We recruited peripheral staff and that we had our PHC doctors serve at the hospital in rotational duty,” said Kothari.