The total Covid-19 cases in Gujarat crossed the 40,000-mark on Friday, with 875 new cases – highest single-day spike – being reported across the state. The state tally has now reached 40,229. With 14 patients succumbing to the infection, the death toll has reached 2,051.
Surat continues to be the hotspot and has reported the highest number of new cases — 269 — in a single day, while four patients succumbed to the infection.
In order to check the spread of infection from Surat, starting Friday, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) deployed antigen testing systems at an inter-district transit spot at the Vadodara-Ahmedabad Expressway tollgate junction near CTM crossroads, for those coming from Surat or through it. Ahmedabad reported 165 new positive cases on Friday.
Bhavin Solanki, Medical Officer of Health with the AMC, said that, in the coming days, the plan is to further expand such screening via antigen testing along other spots of the city’s entry points.
“We are currently checking for those traveling from Surat or via Surat at this point. Today we took 473 samples of which 23 tested positive. We are trying to send back those who test positive if stable and asymptomatic. If not, we admit them to Kothiya Hospital. Today four or five persons had to be taken there, remaining were asked to go back. This (antigen testing at the Vadodara Ahmedabad Expressway tollgate) is going to continue for some days now”.
With a single booth set up, manned by a medical team of the AMC and commuters stopped and queued up by the police, swabs were taken and results were informed in five minutes. Commuters reported a wait as long as a couple of hours before being given a go-ahead to enter the city.
With the steady surge in cases in Surat, it has now been decided to shut down the offices of the city mayor and other offices of elected leaders of both BJP and Congress in the Surat Municipal corporation (SMC) headquarters from Saturday, until July 15.
The decision came after three persons from the SMC secretary’s office tested positive and a few others showed symptoms. These offices include that of the mayor, deputy mayor, standing committee chairman, ruling party leader’s office, office of the leader of opposition and offices of all the chairpersons for different departments.
Aravalli district reported another Covid-19 fatality while two others tested positive, further pushing up the case fatality rate in the district to nearly 10 per cent. While the state bulletin has reported 24 deaths till now, the district has declared 26 deaths.
On Thursday, Congress leaders had protested outside the district collector’s office demanding a Civil Hospital for the district in view of the rising number of cases. Iqbal Iproliya, Modasa city president of Congress, said, “There are only two trust-run hospitals – one in Modasa and another in Vatrak- treating Covdi-19 patients. Most cases as well as deaths reported are from Modasa and there is a shortage of staff.” The district collector did not respond to calls.
Bhavnagar reported 71 new cases, taking the district total to more than 500 cases now. The district currently has 282 patients undergoing treatment.
In Navsari, where 27 persons tested positive, the collector’s office announced that businesses and offices operating outside the containment or micro-containment zones, will only be permitted to operate between 6 am and 2 pm, instead of the earlier operating hours from 8 am to 9 pm. The order, which will be effective until July 31, stated that the move comes in light of the “worrisome increase in cases” in the district.
In Jamnagar, where the district recorded its eighth fatality and added 23 more cases, the district collector also issued a notification declaring 10 areas as containment zones, from Friday, for a fortnight. With eight of these areas in the municipal corporation limits while the remaining are in the rural jurisdiction, movement of people except for essential services will not be allowed.
Rajkot reported 39 new cases, taking the total to 570, with 370 of the patients currently undergoing treatment.
Dr Bhavin Kothari, with the IMA Rajkot Branch said, “The Civil Hospital here is at full capacity. Two other private hospitals with a combined capacity of 80 beds are also at full capacity. We are planning to add more private hospitals on Sunday.”
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