Published on March 24, 2020

AHMEDABAD: The total number of positive Covid-19 cases in the state reached to 33 on Tuesday morning with report of three persons — one from Surat and two from Gandhinagar –- arriving with the state health & family department. The state has so far recorded one confirmed death so far due to Covid-19 infection from Surat.

Jayanti Ravi, principal secretary (health & family welfare), told media on Tuesday morning that out of the new cases, the 32-year-old man from Surat had a travel history to Dubai whereas two cases of Gandhinagar –- 54-year-old man and 53-year-old woman –- are of local transmission.

As local transmission cases now stand at nearly one-third of the total cases reported, the state government has imposed lockdown from midnight of March 23 to midnight of March 31.

Ravi said that the state government is taking daily review of the situation with a high-powered committee chaired by Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani and deputy CM Nitin Patel. All the senior officers are present so that inter-department coordination can be facilitated.

“We have deployed multi-pronged strategy where we are conducting house-to-house survey under Integrated Sisease Surveillance Platform (IDSP). So far 10 lakh persons have been surveyed — through health network, monitoring severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) cases registered at government and private hospitals, monitoring cases reported to 108 helpline for severe breathlessness and fever, and attending to calls on 104 helpline for any of the Covid-19 symptoms,” said Ravi.

The principal secretary said that the earliest six cases of the state are stable currently. “Their viral clearance has not been achieved though. It may take anything between six to 15 days. If the immunity is compromised, it can even take a month. But all are under close observation,” said Ravi. She said that one of the doctors treating the Covid-19 patients had reported symptoms but the report has come negative.

At the Ahmedabad lab, a total of 52 samples were processed in past 24 hours out of which two have been sent for re-examination, said health department officials.

Meanwhile, the state experienced the first day of lockdown on Tuesday. While majority of the citizens remained indoors, city and state police had to send several back.

“I was dismayed to see people driving on the roads freely. While it is mandatory for us to work, common people should understand the seriousness of the lockdown. Police should strictly enforce lockdown. We cannot afford to throw caution to the wind and risk a major outbreak,” said Dr Rajal Thakar, a gynaecologist working at Shardaben Hospital.

Majority of the residential societies in Ahmedabad have imposed rules on entry to the premises to prevent any spread of the infection. However, a few were also irked about the behaviour of the fellow residents.

“I saw people sitting in a group at the gate without masks this morning. Similarly, a bunch of senior citizens were out for an evening walk with grand kids in the apartment garden yesterday,” said Dharti Gandhi, a school teacher.

On Tuesday morning, the crowds were seen at ATMs, milk and provision shops as people continued stocking the supplies despite the state government’s assurance that the medical services and essential goods would not be affected during the lockdown.

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