Updated: January 22, 2022 2:45:37 pm
As Gujarat continues to see a surge in new Covid-19 infections detected with 21,225 cases and 16 deaths being reported on Friday, the state government announced extending the night curfew (10 pm- 6 am) to 17 more cities, taking the total count of cities under night curfew to 27.
The state government has allowed dine in at hotels and restaurants till 10 pm and 24/7 home delivery from Saturday until January 29.
Among those to test positive for Covid-19 was Revenue Minister Rajendra Trivedi, who took to Facebook to inform of his positive result. In home isolation, Trivedi added that he was testing positive for Covid-19 for the first time, having managed to “successfully tackle” first and second wave.
Trivedi would be the fourth minister to test positive in the third wave.
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The state-wide recovery rate of 94.5 per cent as of January 11 has slowed down to 87.5 per cent as of Friday and active cases across the state now stand at over 1.16 lakh. Percentage of critical patients on ventilators of the total active cases has however remained more or less constant since the past five days at around 0.14 per cent.
The decision to extend the night curfew to 17 more cities of Gujarat was taken after a meeting of the core committee headed by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel.
The cities include Surendranagar, Dhrangadhra, Morbi, Vankaner, Godhra, Vijalpur (Navsari), Navsari, Dhoraji, Vyara, Vapi, Valsad, Bharuch, Ankleshwar, Kalol, Gondal, Jetpur and Kalavad. From Saturday night, there will be restrictions on the movement of citizens and business activities in these cities.
The new orders will be implemented from January 22 (Saturday) to January 29, read a notification released by the state home department.
Currently, night curfew was in effect in 10 cities — Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Bhavnagar, Anand and Nadiad.
As per a notification order released by the home department Friday, no shops, business organisations, shopping complexes, weekly markets, haats, bazaars, parlors, salons and others will be allowed to operate post 10 pm in the 27 cities mentioned. Hotels and restaurants will be permitted to operate for customers till 10 pm with 75 per cent seating capacity while home delivery will be allowed 24 hours in the 27 cities.
As of January 20 Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data, a total of 10 districts of the state stood with a weekly test positivity rate of over 10 per cent, with Vadodara reporting the highest TPR across the state — at 31.91 per cent — followed by Ahmedabad — 31,78 per cent —Gandhinagar (21.02%) and Rajkot (20%).
On Thursday, Bhavnagar and Morbi also joined the list of districts with weekly TPR above 10 per cent, which were eight as of January 18.
Meanwhile, the state government has retained the maximum number of attendees allowed in social, political, cultural and religious events, including weddings to 150 .
A maximum of 100 persons will be allowed at funerals. Cinema halls, gyms, water parks, swimming pools, libraries, auditoriums and assembly halls will be allowed to run at 50 per cent seating capacity.
The state government has allowed educational institutes to run following the directives issued by the education department.
People associated with emergency services, food delivery executives, medical, paramedical and health staff, people associated with oxygen production and supply, patients and their kin, people travelling to catch flights, trains and buses, journalists and newspaper distributors, staff associated with fuel pump and fuel production, private security and other essential services have been exempted from the night curfew.
While Ahmedabad reported 8,804 new cases (city and rural jurisdiction included) and eight deaths on Friday,the Vadodara Municipal Corporation data of new Covid-19 cases indicate a sharp rise in the number of home isolations as well. On Thursday, the VMC reported 3,094 single-day cases with 11,535 active cases. Although Friday’s daily detection was lower at 2,941, the total number of active cases went up to 13,243. Of these, 246 are under hospitalisation and 12,997 are in home isolation. An additional 11,764 persons are also in home quarantine, according to VMC. Among those hospitalised, 113 patients are those with mild symptoms while 14 are on ventilator support and 33 in Intensive Care Units. As many as 86 patients are on oxygen support.
Dr Sheetal Mistry, adviser to the Covid administration in Vadodara, told The Indian Express that most active cases are responding to symptomatic treatment in home isolation. “The hospitalisations mainly include those patients, who have other ailments. For instance, persons requiring emergency treatment or surgeries, who test positive for Covid and their regular doctor is not running a Covid ward, would turn up at Covid hospitals… The mortality in this wave is only one percent as compared to 29 per cent mortality in the second wave. However, the infection rate is almost 80 per cent and it is a fast-spreading variant,” said Mistry.
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