Ahmedabad city, next to Gujarat capital Gandhinagar, will be under “complete curfew” tonight until the morning of Monday. Only shops selling milk and medicines will stay open, in view of the steep surge in Covid-19 cases after Diwali, and night curfew will continue thereafter.
The decision followed the announcement by Additional Chief Secretary, forest and environment Rajiv Kumar Gupta, who is in charge of the Covid situation in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), of an indefinite night curfew Friday onwards.
The Government of Gujarat decided further to reschedule the reopening of schools and colleges 23 November onwards. “We have withdrawn the decision to reopen schools and colleges from November 23 for the time being. It will be decided in due course,” Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said.
Gupta said, “After reviewing corona situation late night, it has been decided that ‘complete curfew’ shall be imposed from Friday 9 pm till Monday 6 am in Ahmedabad city. During this period, only shops selling milk and medicines shall be permitted to remain open.”
The decision to impose the night curfew from 9 PM to 6 AM tonight onwards was made in a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and senior officials of the AMC attended the meeting Thursday afternoon. The administration reviewed the situation again late evening.
Gupta, in a late-night post on Twitter, was categorical about lifting the total curfew on Monday at 6 AM. He said the city would go under the indefinite night curfew Monday night onwards.
As of yesterday in the morning, Ahmedabad had witnessed 2,845 active cases. Of these, a majority is from the western parts of the city. The highest (477) from the north-west zone alone, followed by the south-west zone (452) and west zone (446) while the least (274) has been reported from the central zone.
“Keeping in view the present situation, the state government has decided to impose a curfew in Ahmedabad city from November 20 from 9 pm till 6 am till the infection rate in the city is under control,” Gupta stated in a video message. He also attributed the surge in cases to a huge rush at markets and public places during this festive season and the setting in of winter.
It was also decided to add 1,300 more Covid beds to the existing capacity in the government and private hospitals in the city, taking the total number of beds for Covid care in the city to 8,800. Government hospitals will get an additional 900 beds, while private ones will get 400. Ahmedabad city reported three deaths and 230 fresh cases of coronavirus on Thursday, out of total 1,340 cases and seven deaths in the state.
The state government sanctioned 300 doctors and 300 medical students for Ahmedabad city yesterday. For areas around Ahmedabad — such as Sabarmati, Chandkehda and Motera — the health administration has reserved 100 additional beds for Covid-19 patients at the Gandhinagar Civil Hospital.
According to the AMC, as on 19 November, 2,237 beds were vacant in government hospitals and 400 in private hospitals. For additional support services, the 108 ambulance vehicles too were increased from 20 to 40.
Continuing its sealing drive launched on 18 November, AMC’s solid waste management department sealed the Royal Enfield showroom on the Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway in the Sarkhej ward for violating Covid guidelines. On Wednesday, several popular eateries on the SG Highway under Jodhpur ward were sealed.
Meanwhile, both fresh Covid-19 cases and recoveries reached record highs yesterday across India (click for details).