Gujarat on Thursday recorded 4,213 fresh Covid cases and one death in the last 24 hours, taking the state’s active caseload to 14,346 and the number of deaths since the start of the pandemic to 10,127. No Omicron cases were recorded today. As many as 29 patients are on ventilator support. The one death recorded today was in Tapi.
The state had 3,350 cases, one death, and 50 Omicron infections yesterday. With today’s addition of over 4,000 cases, the two-day caseload now amounts to 53 percent of the active cases in Gujarat.
Ahmedabad remained the biggest contributor with 1,835 cases, closely followed by Surat with 1,105 cases. Other major contributors include Rajkot (183), Anand (112), Vadodara (103), and Gandhinagar (59).
As the state had no Omicron cases on Thursday, likely because of the three-to-four-day gap in Covid-19 testing and genome sequencing of the samples, the discharge of 151 patients took the active Omicron tally down to 53. The total number of Omicron cases in Gujarat since the variant entered the state stands at 204.
Meanwhile, India on Thursday reported a single-day spike of 90,928 fresh Covid-19 cases and 325 deaths. The country’s daily positivity rate stood at 6.43%, while the active caseload touched 2,85,401. The country logged 19,206 recoveries in the last 24 hours.
The country’s Omicron tally reached 2,630. The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday confirmed that a 74-year-old man with commodities was the country’s first death due to Omicron. The man had succumbed to the heavily mutated variant last week in Rajasthan.
The Union Health Ministry has also expressed concerns over the declining testing rates in states despite the exponential surge.
Vibrant Gujarat Summit Postponed
The Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel on Thursday took the decision to postpone the 10th edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit during a Covid review meeting. The summit which had confirmed participation from 27 countries was to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 10.
“I welcome the decision of the Gujarat government to defer the global investors’ summit in the wake of rising Covid cases. As the summit would have seen delegations and investors arriving from across the globe and India, the risk would to the common people has been monumental. Even though the latest variant of coronavirus, Omicron, has low lethality, the spread of infection is high. It was responsible for the government to understand the concerns of the scientific community and defer the summit,” Dr Tejas Patel, heart surgeon and member of the state government’s Covid-19 task force, told VoI on Thursday.
Marginal Uptick In Calls To 108-Ambulance Service
The Gujarat government-run 108 ambulance service is seeing a marginal uptick in the calls from Covid-19 patients for transportation to hospitals across Gujarat. “Last night, we had 37 calls from Covid-19 patients, as against three to seven calls around a month back,” Vikash Bihani, media coordinator for GMK-EMRI 108-ambulance service, told VoI.
The ambulance service official said as the cases continue to mount in the state, the rise in hospitalization may increase which would lead to more calls.
“Right now, the Covid positive patients we are transporting to hospital are between 21-40 age group,” Bihani said.
Covid Treatment Drug Has Safety Concerns
Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has yesterday advised the state and UTs to not include anti-viral drug molnupiravir as part of their Covid treatment protocol as it has serious safety concerns. The inclusion of the drug — which had recently received drug regulatory approval – was being debated by the national Covid-19 task force.
“The US has approved it only based on 1,433 patients with a 3 percent reduction in moderate disease when given in mild cases. However, we have to remember that this drug has major safety concerns. It can cause teratogenicity, mutagenicity, and it can also cause cartilage damage and can also be damaging to muscles,” ICMR chief Balram Bhargava had said during a press briefing on Wednesday.