Two Congress councillors and a staffer from the Office Superintendent Department (OSD) of the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) tested positive for coronavirus before the civic body’s general board meeting on Saturday. With this Surat’s Covid-19 tally crossed 30,000 on Saturday.
A physical meeting of all SMC staffers and councillors – from both Congress and BJP – along with mediapersons was organised at Sanjeev Kumar auditorium in the city, on Saturday afternoon, for the first time since the outbreak of Covid-19.
As per Covid-19 protocol, those who wanted to partake in the general board meeting had to undergo Rapid Antigen Tests being carried out by a team of health officials stationed at the main gate of the auditorium. Subsequently, Congress councillor from ward number 14, Punagam West, Arunaben Dawra; Congress councillor from ward number 15, Puna East, Dhriubhai Lathiya and OSD staffer Kishor Soni tested positive for the viral infection.
SMC Deputy Health Commissioner, Dr Ashish Naik said, “We carried out 150 tests which included 50 municipal councillors, a few mediapersons and SMC staffers. The three who tested positive have been home quarantined and orally medicated.”
The general board meeting was attended by Surat Municipal Commissioner BN Pani, Mayor Dr Jagdish Patel, Deputy Mayor Nirav Shah and SMC Standing Committee Chairman Anil Goplani. Out of a total 116 municipal councillors from both Congress and BJP, only 50 were present in the auditorium, while the rest were virtually present via video conferencing.
The discussion was centred out on four major issues — pathetic road conditions in the city, SMC employees failing to make people understand Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), recruitment of assistant engineers and creek flooding and associated losses.
As Gujarat’s tally crossed 1.41 lakh, Narmada reported its first death due to Covid-19 as per the state bulletin.
Ahmedabad continues to hover around 200 daily cases and reported a death due to Covid-19 from its rural jurisdiction, apart from the three deaths reported from its municipal corporation limits. Ahmedabad district, which has seen a considerably reduced testing in the past two weeks, with around 12,000-13,000 samples tested each day, also saw its testing kiosks set up by AMC being used instead as a shade for vegetable vendors, at a kiosk in the Asarwa area. AMC estate department officials moved the vendors out in the evening following media reports.
Banaskantha, where over 2,100 cases have been reported till date, saw two more patients succumb to the infection. The district has reported three Covid-19 fatalities in two days.
Meanwhile, Surat-based anesthetist, Dr Sanket Mehta (37), who was airlifted to Chennai last month and had tested positive on July 22, has reported an improvement in his condition, and is now off oxygen support.
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