The Gujarat government on Sunday said that the COVID-19 lockdown will be strictly implemented in six municipal corporations and six municipalities till May 17, while it announced some relaxations in areas under orange and green zones.
These relaxations, however, will not apply to in the municipal corporations under complete lockdown on the basis of the number of COVID-19 cases.
Declaring a series of decisions to be implemented during the third phase of the lockdown, Secretary to the Chief Minister Ashwani Kumar, on Sunday, said that lockdown will be strictly implemented in municipal corporation areas of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Gandhinagar and Bhavnagar, which fall under red zone category, and in Rajkot.
In these areas, no shops will be allowed to open except for the shops providing essential goods such as medicines, milk, vegetable, grains and groceries.
Kumar said that though Rajkot city falls under orange zone, the state government has decided to strictly implement red zone lockdown rules there in the interest of people’s health and considering past cases of COVID-19 in the city.
Similar rules will be applied to six municipalities in the state – Botad, Bopal, Khambhat, Bareja, Godhra and Umreth – that fall under red zone.
The decisions, he said, were taken by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani after holding a high-level meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, other top ministers and officials of the state government.
The government has also decided to resume some services in areas falling under orange and green zones of the state. Barber shops, beauty parlours, hair cutting salons and tea/coffee stalls will be allowed to open in these areas. The cab/taxi services will also be allowed in these areas with a condition that the driver can ferry a maximum of two passengers at a time.
In green zone areas, the government has also decided to allow functioning of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) buses with a condition that each bus will ferry 50% passengers of its total capacity. Any violation of this rule will attract action against driver/conductor of the concerned bus, Kumar said.
However, the state government has decided not to allow shops selling paan/tobacco products and liquor in the state till May 17 when the third phase of the countrywide lockdown ends.
The state government also decided to allow conditional resumption of industrial activities in two municipal corporation areas of Junagadh and Jamnagar municipal corporations along with 156 municipalities.
However, Kumar added that it will be subject to conditions like staggering of time slots of employees, staggering of lunch times, temperature checks of the employees, social distancing etc.
An official release from the state government also stated that movement of goods vehicles has been allowed across the state.
Kumar also made an appeal to the Muslim community to do their ibadat/bandgi during the ongoing holy month of Ramzan at their homes to check spread of the COVID-19.
Police have registered a case under IPC sections 377 (unnatural offences), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of diseases endangering life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of diseases endangering life), based on a complaint from the hospital’s HR head.
“We have registered the case on the basis of what the HR manager has said in his statement. He told us that the accused was interviewed on April 28 and 29 following which he was hired by the hospital, and April 30 was his first day at work. He committed the offence on the second day,” a police officer told The Indian Express.
The complaint states that the accused entered the patient’s room in the ICU on the hospital’s 10th floor on May 1. It says the accused made physical advances that the patient tried to resist. “The patient raised an alarm when the doctor assaulted him and staffers who were stationed outside went inside the room,” said an officer.
The victim then informed hospital authorities about the incident. “The hospital took a decision to inform both police and BMC,” an official said.
“We have registered a case but we have not arrested the doctor. He came in close contact with the patient, so we suspect even he might have got infected,” said Senior Police Inspector Savlaram Agwane of Agripada station. “We are yet to take a statement from the victim and the suspect,” an investigator said.