Compared to 19 per cent recovery rate of Covid-19 patients in the country, Gujarat has recovery rate of just 6.3 per cent; death rate also among the highest in the country; as cases started coming in late, discharge momentum will pick up now, says State govt

| Nischal Sanghavi | 

Even as the country crossed 20k cases and the recovery rate of positive patients across states has gone up, Gujarat’s rate at which patients have got cured has gone from bad to worse with the number of Covid-19 cases having swelled and deaths having increased.

As of April 22, 5 pm, India reported 20,471 positive cases, as per the official website of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. As many as 3,960 persons have been discharged across the country. This means 19 per cent of the total positive cases in India have recovered till now. Gujarat on the other hand has the lowest recovery rate in the country, with just 6.3 per cent or 144 cases of the total 2,272 cases having been declared recovered.

If you compare it, statewise, Kerala that reported the first Covid-19 positive case has shown a phenomenal recovery rate, with 75 per cent of the patients having gone back home. Of the 427 cases reported till date in the southernmost state, 307 have recovered and 3 persons have died. If we consider Maharashtra with the highest number of cases in the country at 5,221 cases, the recovery rate has been 13 per cent with 722 patients having recovered from the infec tion. Goa on the other end of the spectrum with just 7 cases has 100 per cent recovery rate with all persons having been discharged.

Surprisingly, Gujarat, which is considered a model state, doesn’t seem to have cracked the recovery cycle yet. In the past one-and-ahalf-month, the state’s recovery rate has never crossed the overall recovery rate in the country. With just 144 people having recovered out of 2,272 cases diagnosed so far, it works to a recovery rate of just 6.3 per cent, which is the lowest among all the 29 states of India. Union Territory Delhi with 611 cases discharged out of 2,156 has a recovery rate of 28 per cent. States like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have recovery rates of 12 per cent, 9.3 per cent, 11 per cent, 14 per cent, 39 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

During such times, it is the strategy of local government body and execution at the ground level that plays the most important role in helping denizens face the crisis with minimal damage.

‘Cases in 3 cities crucial’

Gujarat’s 66% lower recovery rate than India’s average could be attributed to the low recovery rate of major cities like Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara. With 1,434, 364 & 207 cases respectively, the top three cities of Gujarat account for 88 per cent of state’s total cases. However, while recovery rate of Ahmedabad is 3.9 per cent with 56 people cured, the recovery rates of Surat and Vadodara are 3 and 3.8 per cent as per the statistics from the State government’s official website.

Looks like Gujarat has a lot to catch up with to be at par with the rest of the states. In fact, if Gujarat’s recovery matched with the country’s recovery rate, we would have had an additional 280 plus people back home from hospitals, which would have reduced the burden on the hospitals and medical fraternity.

Regarding the low recovery rate, Principal Secretary, Health, Jayanti Ravi, said, “The first case was reported on March 19, so we are now taking forward the momentum of discharge cases. The new cases started late. As it takes at least 12 days to recover, the discharge cases will increase.”

Even Gujarat’s death rate is higher. The state’s death rate is 4.1 per cent with 95 people succumbing to Covid-19 disease. This is 28% higher than India’s death rate of 3.2 per cent with total 640 deaths. States like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Delhi have much lower death rates than the country’s average. While Maharashtra and MP have high death rates, there are also states like Goa, Chhatisgarh, Ladakh, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Tripura and Mizoram that are yet to encounter their first death.

About the increasing deaths, Jayanti Ravi said, “The death rate of Gujarat is higher because Gujarat has had more comorbid cases. The death rate for morbid cases is only 1.39 per cent. We are doing death audit every day. We are also repeatedly appealing to senior citizens and comorbid people to stay home.”

As per Surat Health Officer P H Umrigar, “The recovery cycle of corona is within 14 days to 14+7 days of the date of admission. Unfortunately we have had more patients in the past 21 days. So we are expecting the recovery rate to improve in the next few days. Right now most of the patients are doing good except three patients, one of whom is on oxygen and one is on ventilator.”