In view of coronavirus cases on the rise in Amreli, the district administration will start screening people coming from Surat, Ahmedabad and Mumbai from Thursday. According to district officials, the majority of people testing positive for the viral infection in Amreli have had a travel history of these three districts.
District Magistrate of Amreli, Ayush Oak, issued a notification under Section 33 (1) (b) of the Gujarat Police Act, on Tuesday, mandating people coming to Amreli from Surat and Ahmedabad districts of Gujarat, as well as from Mumbai in Maharashtra, to have their health screened at the border of Amreli district. The notification further stated that people coming from these three cities and districts, which are hotspots of Covid-19 cases, will be allowed to enter Amreli only through Chavand checkpost on the Rajkot-Bhavnagar state highway in Lathi taluka of Amreli. Such entries would be subject to a health check-up — a screening by health department teams posted at the spot.
Oak said that Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) buses, which either originate from Surat, Ahmedabad and Mumbai or pass through them, but do not enter Amreli through Chavand check-post, would be stopped at Vanda checkpost in Savarkundla taluka and Dungar in Rajula taluka for health screening of passengers. “No passenger coming from Surat, Ahmedabad and Mumbai shall get down from their vehicle after entering Amreli till the screening of their health is completed,” added the notification which will remain effective till the end of this month.
As of Wednesday, Amreli district recorded 197 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Of these, 91 are active cases while an equal number of patients have recovered. The infection has also claimed 15 lives in Amreli so far.
Due to rigorous implementation of the lockdown and the cooperation of its residents, Amreli had remained untouched by the pandemic till May 13 even as the contagious disease had covered all remaining 32 districts of the state.
“As part of efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus and keeping in mind the rising number of cases, intense contact tracing of these cases was undertaken and it was noticed that the majority of those who tested positive had come from Surat district, Ahmedabad district or Mumbai. Therefore, it is necessary to screen the vehicles and passengers coming from Surat, Ahmedabad and Mumbai,” the DM said in his notification.
Talking to The Indian Express on Wednesday, Oak said the notification was, at a level discriminatory. “But then all regulations related to Covid-19 containment are somewhat discriminatory. Nonetheless, they are the ones needed now. Our objective is to make early detection of cases so that there is no local spread of infection and provide timely medical treatment so that mortality remains the lowest. This can be done by screening people coming coming from places where cases are more,” he said.
Incidentally, after Ahmedabad, Surat has emerged as the new hotbed of Covid-19 infection in the state. Mumbai in Maharashtra is also battling the viral infection for more than three months now. Thousands of people in these three cities are returning to their native places in Amreli in an attempt to escape the virus, as well as due to the closure of factories and business there.
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