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A meeting of experts conducted by CM as Gujarat reports 17k Covid infections

The experts encouraged the administration at the conference, to raise public awareness about the severity of the condition

A meeting of experts conducted by CM as Gujarat reports 17k Covid infections
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Gujarat's Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel convened a conference with a panel of experts on Tuesday to review the Covid-19 situation, despite the fact that the state saw the largest single-day increase of 17,119 new cases and ten deaths. The district of Ahmedabad, however, set a new high with 6,078 new Covid cases and three fatalities.

The experts encouraged the administration at the conference, according to sources, to raise public awareness about the severity of the condition.

According to certain specialists interviewed by The Indian Express, the state administration has been advised that daily instances in the state can range from "50,000 to approximately one lakh," with the peak occurring during the last week of January and the first week of February. According to them, the wave should subside by the end of February or early March.

Dr. Atul Patel, an infectious disease specialist, is the director of Zydus Hospital, and Dr. VN Shah, the director of the Indian Institute of Public Health in Gandhinagar, is a public health specialist. The panel included Dr. Dileep Mavlankar, pulmonologist Dr. Tushar Patel, anesthesiologist Dr. Ami Parikh, and Dr. RK Patel, head of the UN Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre.

Some experts suggested that offline sessions in schools up to Class 9 be cancelled for the next four weeks because students under the age of 15 have not yet been vaccinated. It was also advised that a group of clinicians meet weekly with a team from the genome sequencing laboratory to maintain track of the variant's evolving clinical manifestations in circulation.

According to sources, the state government informed experts that the total hospitalisation rate has been modest, with only about 2% of patients requiring hospitalisation. They were told that about 60% of the samples would be sent for genetic sequencing. Up to 20 samples can be sequenced per day at the Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre.

According to sources, the state also informed the experts that it has made preparations to set up temporary hospitals if necessary.

The specialists made clear "the seriousness of the current condition of transmission" at the meeting, according to a state government press release, and suggested adoption of Covid-appropriate behaviour of social distancing, wearing masks, and sanitization as the "need of the hour."

In most cases, Covid patients present with cough, cold, and bodyache, rather than lung impairment, according to Dr VN Shah

"Requirement of oxygen is less as the infection is more on the upper respiratory tract (during the third wave). I don't think there will be a huge requirement of ICU beds or ventilators. There is community spread. But this is not a simple flu, so please do not ignore your symptoms…," he said.

"We (doctors) insist that do not go for aggressive treatment like we did during the second wave… symptomatic treatment shall suffice. There should be a full stop to Remdesivir, steroids and antiviral drugs unless there are indications," said Shah.

Due to capacity limits, Dr. Mavlankar believes genome sequencing should be done judiciously, and he emphasises the need of Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccine coverage, particularly among eligible teens.

Gujarat conducted 95,243 tests on Monday, with an average daily test positivity rate of roughly 18%. With 14,605 cases, the state had previously experienced its largest single-day rise during the second wave on April 30. On the same day, 173 people died in the state. With 5,740 cases, Ahmedabad had its biggest single-day increase on April 28.

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation said on Tuesday that five teenagers in the 15-18 age range who received or will receive a vaccination shot between January 3 and January 24 will be eligible to win a Rs 60,000 iPhone. On January 26, five lucky draw winners will be notified.

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