Published on March 23, 2020

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat health & family welfare department on Monday morning confirmed 11 new positive cases, taking total number in the state to 29. Gujarat on Sunday had recorded first confirmed death due to Covid-19 infection in Surat.

According to state health department, the new cases include six from Ahmedabad, three from Vadodara and one each from Surat and Gandhinagar. Three of the persons had travel history to Saudi Arabia and one each had returned from Sri Lanka, UK and France.

Compared to only one case of local transmission on Sunday from Gandhinagar, the number rose to five – forming close to 50% of the new cases. It included two from Vadodara and one each from Surat, Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.

“The phenomenon of community spreading, identified as stage 3 of the Covid-19 spread, could be here. However, the number is still low but a massive exercise of door-to-door survey is initiated. The health workers would gather details of those with travel history abroad and those showing symptoms associated with Covid-19 infection,” said a senior health department official. “It’s also the reason why all the districts that have reported positive cases are put under partial lockdown where only essential goods would be accessible till March 25.”

Meanwhile, the state administration appealed to the citizens to stay indoors and break the chain of infection. Since Monday morning, the deserted city roads on Sunday reported high number of commuters despite CrPC Section 144 – prohibiting assembly of more than four persons at a place – in force. Ahmedabad Police on Monday registered a case against 19 persons who had gathered at 5pm in large numbers in Khadia area of Ahmedabad.

CM Vijay Rupani appealed to the citizens not to come out of houses if not necessary. “We have instructed police not to allow any unnecessary movement. Just imagine, if Covid-19 could bring major countries to their knees, where would we stand if we don’t take precaution,” said Rupani. “I ensure all citizens that there would be no shortage of essential supplies.”

City administration mentioned that they would seek help of police to ensure that no person comes out of homes except necessary commutes. The roads to Gandhinagar were also under police cordons on Monday. In a notification under provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, city municipal commissioner Vijay Nehra has suspended all non-essential services till midnight of March 25.

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