The chief of the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, who took a special Indian Air Force flight to Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah's instructions, visited a hospital in Ahmedabad and interacted with doctors today, advising them on COVID-19 treatment. The top doctor's visit comes after a sharp rise in the coronavirus cases in Gujarat.
With 7,402 cases, including 449 deaths, Gujarat has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in India after Maharashtra. As many as 390 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours in the state. A total of 1,872 patients have recovered.
AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria, a pulmonologist, and Dr Manish Sureja, from the AIIMS department of medicine, had left for Ahmedabad by a special Indian Air Force (IAF) flight last evening on Amit Shah's instructions, sources in the Home Ministry said.
The AIIMS chief will also visit SVP Hospital in the city.
Dr Guleria, who interacted with doctors at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital to give them advice on the treatment strategy, also meet the Gujarat Principal secretary (health) Jayanti Ravi. He is also expected to meet Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
"One important issue that was discussed is the stigma attached to COVID-19. People still fear coming to hospitals to get tested... I spoke to doctors and the staff about how can we improve our facilities and if they are facing any issues," Dr Guleria said during a press conference after meeting the doctors.
The Gujarat government has also roped in private intensive care experts in the state to guide the civil hospital staff about ways to bring down the mortality rate.
The total number of coronavirus cases in the country inched closer to 60,000, with 59,662, including 1,981 deaths, according to the latest figures from the Union Health Ministry.
Nearly 60 per cent of all COVID-19 cases in India have been reported from eight major cities, data from the respective state governments showed on Friday, with Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad alone recording over 42 per cent of all cases.