Despite it being the fourth largest contributor of COVID-19 cases in India, the state of Gujarat has one of the worst mortality rates with over 960 deaths with 15,000 odd cases. The mortality rate is worse than the average mortality rate of the country.
All throughout May, the curve of the number of cases remained flat as there was a steady increase in cases with 320-440 cases per day. Since the beginning of May, Gujarat has been reporting 20 deaths every day. The figures from Ahmedabad, according to the state health department,t is mind-numbing with the city reporting a death every hour in the past week. The Ahmedabad Civil Hospital has witnessed over 400 deaths so far.
Gujarat has also been one of the states with a low number of tests. Along with Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, Gujarat has conducted a low number of tests among the states with high cases. From citizens to the Gujarat High Court, there have been allegations of mismanagement on the Gujarat government.
Shantaben Shah, a 92-year old woman who was admitted to a COVID-19 hospital for breathlessness and fever passed away four days into waiting to get tested for COVID-19. Her son, Vijaybhai, also developed symptoms and was admitted to a different hospital could not perform her last rites. Vijaybhai is also waited to get tested for COVID-19 for the past 7 days. The family is angry at the government’s insensitivity towards the patients who are seeking a COVID-19 test. They believe that it is a ploy by the government to keep the numbers low.
The Medical Association files a PIL
The state government brought in an unusual policy to get tested for COVID-19 at private laboratories. Patients who were waiting for days to get tested turned towards the private laboratories but the government made it mandatory for the private labs to seek approval of the government to test. This has put thousands of patients at risk. Earlier, the state government had opposed the idea of private laboratory testing for COVID-19 as it said that it may lead to 70 percent of the population being positive. The High Court refused to merit this argument.
The Ahmedabad Medical Association has filed a PIL in the Gujarat High Court on the lack of action on the restriction by the government regarding private laboratories. The PIL said that this has effectively put the lives of patients and the medical fraternity under huge risk.
The angered Shantaben family lashed out at the administration for not testing her despite showing the symptoms of COVID-19. Her grandson who is a surgeon, Dr. Hardik Shah said,
“It is a huge loss for our family. She breathed her last alone in the hospital, away from all of us. We will never know the reason for her death as despite applying for the test, she was never tested for COVID-19.”
Source: Ahmedabad Mirror