The diamond hub of Katargam in Surat where polishing units opened this month post Unlock-1 continued to spike the city’s Covid-19 cases. Surat broke its own daily case record on Saturday, adding 174 positive cases, while Ahmedabad’s daily count continued to drop.
Besides, 11 army jawans, who had returned from holiday recently, reported positive in the Bhuj cantonment of the border district of Kutch, and were among the 621 cases reported in Gujarat — the highest in a single day so far — taking the tally to 30,820.
Majority of Surat’s cases are from Katargam which also accounts for more than 25 per cent of the city’s total caseload. Of the total 4,242 cases, Katargam’s share is 1,055.
Comparing cases from the corporation city limits, Surat reported 174 cases against 197 from Ahmedabad.
Explaining the surge in cases in Surat, New Civil Hospital medical superintendent Dr Preeti Kapadiya said, “Cases are rising because of community transmission. It will continue for a few more days and for that 104 services and Dhanvanti raths have been put into action.”
Surat municipal commissioner B N Pani said, “We are carrying out meetings with the diamond industry to ensure that they follow the Covid-19 guidelines of social distancing, masks and sanitizers. They should also share correct information with the surveillance team. There are 1,600 small, medium and big diamond factories in Katargam area which are operational and we have set up teams who will visit the diamond factories to check if they are following rules.”
So far, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has shut down three large diamond units where multiple cases were reported, and micro contained several others.
Deputy health commissioner, Surat, Dr Ashish Naik said, “We were expecting such a surge in the number of cases… Earlier we saw a rise in number of cases in the walled city area and Rander, but now the cases are reducing there. Now, Katargam and Limbayat zones are badly affected.”
Limbayat accounts for more than 22 per cent of the caseload of the city.
All of Kutch’s 11 cases on Saturday were defence personnel, who were kept in a quarantine centre within the Bhuj cantonment. Most were found to be asymptomatic and are being moved to a military hospital in Bhuj.
This is the third major instance where defence personnel have tested positive for the virus. “Initially, two of the jawans in this camp showed symptoms and got tested. When their reports returned positive, others were also tested and 11 of them tested positive,” an official told The Indian Express.
In Ahmedabad, while 12 people died, indicating a fatality rate similar to that seen in April-end in the city, the overall district’s case fatality rate continues to be nearly seven per cent. While 18 succumbed to the infection across the state, with Botad reporting its third death and Junagadh its second, the overall fatality rate in the state has gone down below six per cent — at 5.8 per cent.
Navsari saw its highest single day surge after reporting 21 cases, while Mehsana saw 16 test positive, taking the total in this district to over 250.
While earlier this week Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who also holds the health portfolio, said that the state has a daily testing capacity of 6,000 to 6,500 samples, the state did not test at full capacity a single day this week. Saturday saw 5,989 samples taken in a 24-hour cycle.
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