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Gujarat Covid-19 death toll crosses 900; case tally nears 15,000-mark

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The Times Of India
27th May, 2020 09:08 IST

GANDHINAGAR: Gujarat recorded 27 more Covid-related deaths in past 24 hours, taking the state's death toll to 915. The state has second highest deaths in the country after Maharashtra, which has recorded 1,792 mortalities.


National hotspot Ahmedabad continued to report most deaths in the state as 23 more people succumbed to coronavirus here. One death each was also reported from Kheda, Panchmahal, Patan and Surat. Gujarat recorded 361 new cases out of which 251 were from Ahmedabad, 36 from Surat and 31 from Vadodara. With the new cases, there are now eight districts with 100 or more Covid-19 cases in the state.

With 503 patients discharged in a day, the state recorded a new high - out of total, 436 patients were from Ahmedabad alone. With the total discharge of 7,137, Gujarat's recovery rate has rose to 48%. State health department officials said that the rate is much higher than national rate of 41.6%.

Testing for Covid-19 has remained surrounded by controversy in the state as doctors and locals condemn the state's decision to centralize testing by appointing officials to give mandatory clearance and alleging delays and rejections testing applications.

Meanwhile, updated data of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on May 25 showed that Gujarat has 37 labs, including 21 government and 16 private ones . The state is joint fifth with West Bengal. But when one compares the top 10 states with high number of labs, the state is seventh.

A document from the central government's ministry of health revealed that the state doesn't have any TrueNAt machine which could be repurposed for augmenting quick testing for Covid-19 especially in places where proper serological labs are not available. The machines are primarily provided in the TB treatment facilities. The document said that Gujarat would get 45 such machines by June to increase the testing capacity.

When questioned about comparatively lower number of tests in Gujarat, Jayanti Ravi , principal secretary (health & family welfare), said that the state is not undertesting or having any problem with capacity compared to other states.

"Per day we have testing capacity of 3,800 samples, which could be increased up to 6,000 with pooling method. We are okay with the present capacity but open to increase it if required," she said.

‘State is not under-testing’

The TrueNAt machines are primarily used in TB treatment facilities. The document said that Gujarat would get 45 such machines by June to increase testing capacity.

About the comparatively low number of tests in Gujarat, Jayanti Ravi, principal secretary (health & family welfare), said that the state is not undertesting or having any problem with capacity compared to other states.

“Per day we have testing capacity of 3,800 samples, which could be increased up to 6,000 with pooling method. We are okay with the present capacity but open to increase it if required,” she said.

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