A day after a newly appointed team of bureaucrats took charge of Ahmedabad, authorities announced that the city will have to live with an even stricter lockdown for a week — permitting only milk and pharmaceutical shops to function.
Additional chief secretary Rajiv Kumar Gupta, who took charge of the city Tuesday, after holding a meeting with officials of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), issued an order saying: “…all those working in shops like vegetables, fruit, grocery, provisions, supermarkets, ice cream parlours and people engaged in home delivery of these items as well as Swiggy, Zomato, Dominos and others become a potent sources of infection for many. Therefore in the entire AMC area, all shops and home delivery services except milk and medicine shall remain closed for seven days starting from May 7 at 6 am”.
Ahmedabad accounts for over 70 per cent of the COVID 19 cases in Gujarat. The state has recorded total 6,245 cases with 368 fatalities. Meanwhile, as soon as the order was out, people rushed out to buy vegetables, groceries and milk , causing traffic jams and long queues even at fuel stations.
The order stated that the enhanced lockdown will continue for a period of seven days, starting May 7 (Thursday) at 6 am.
All shops including grocery stores, shops selling vegetables, fruits, and other edibles will remain shut for these seven days.
As per the decision, all branches of all banks except ATMs will also remain closed in the red zones (Dani Limda, Behrampura, Jamalpur, Shahpur, Maninagar, Saraspur, Asarwa, Dariapur, Khadia and Gomtipur) till further notice. Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner in-charge Mukesh Kumar, all deputy municipal commissioners as well as health officers attended the meeting. Ahmedabad currently has ten areas in the red zone, in the walled city area, and parts of north and south of the city.
Gujarat Director General of Police Shivanand Jha said that the central government has sent five additional companies of paramilitary forces in Ahmedabad from Wednesday as the city braces for a complete shutdown till May 15 as per the AMC order.
“To avoid further spread of infection in the containment areas of Ahmedabad city and to secure it further , the Union government has sent four companies of Border Security Force and one company of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to be deployed in Ahmedabad. Till now, 38 companies of SRP and paramilitary forces have been deployed in the city. In Surat, additional three companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed, taking the count of companies to six. In Vadodara, two companies have been deployed,” said Jha.
Ahmedabad city police commissioner Ashish Bhatia said that no movement will be allowed inside the micro containment zones in the city and no movement of vehicle will be allowed in the containment zones. There are 57 micro containment zones declared in 15 police station areas of Ahmedabad till now by the police.
The newly appointed chief secretary directed the authorities to prepare a ward-wise containment strategy for all 48 wards, to be discussed in the meeting on Thursday. Based on the information on updated status of COVID-19 situation in each ward, the road map for testing strategy, implementation of lockdown, health infrastructure, quarantine facilities active surveillance, will be made for each ward.
The detailed review meeting also looked at strengthening the hospital facilities in the city.
For this, a decision of taking over nine private hospitals with an aggregate capacity of 1,000 beds as designated Covid-19 hospitals has been taken.
Moreover, directions have been issued to all deputy commissioners to identify private hotels of 3-star and below category, having at least 50 AC rooms, to be established as Covid-19 care centres, making for a total capacity of 500 beds in each zone.
In order to contain the spread in slums, 2 lakh Covid-19 care kits, including four soaps, four washable masks and ayurvedic or homeopathic alternative medicine, are to be provided by the AYUSH department, through 600 surveillance teams.
Order has been passed to issue notice to all private clinics, nursing homes and hospitals to resume operations within 48 hours, or they will lose their licences. “Doctors not opening their clinics to be activated and asked to take care of patients at Covid Care centres or asymptomatic patients at home. proper mapping of such demands and availability to be immediately carried out and requisition of services of medical professionals to be done under the Epidemic Act,” the order stated.