COVID-19: Gujarat coronavirus cases shoot up to 14

COVID-19: Gujarat coronavirus cases shoot up to 14

Deputy Chief Minister Patel said that 12 of the cases have travel history from abroad, while in one case the virus was transmitted from an infected person

A volunteer of the Humf NGO adjusts a free facemask to a motorist during a facemaks donation campaing amid concerns over the spead of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Ahmedabad on March 17, 2020. (AFP Photo)

The number of positive coronavirus cases rose to 14 by Saturday night in Gujarat with cases surfacing in remote Kutch district to state capital Gandhinagar.

In the afternoon, deputy chief minister Nitin Patel had confirmed that "the total number of positive coronavirus cases in Gujarat shot up to 13 in the past 36 hours." A day before, seven cases had been reported from the state. With seven new cases on Saturday including one in state capital Gandhinagar and Lakhpat in Kutch district, which recorded the first cases, the tally crossed 14 cases in the state.

The Gujarat governent on Saturday took some drastic steps to contain spread of coronavirus. It ordered complete lockdown in four major cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot till March 25. The government order said that only essential services like grocery and medicine stores, hospitals will be remain open.

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Patel, who is also health minister, said that 12 of the cases have overseas travel history while in one case the virus was transmitted from an infected person. He added that in two-three days a 1,200-bed super specialty new block at civil hospital in Asarva will be turned into an exclusive ward for coronavirus treatment. 

In the 14th case, a 52-year-old woman, who has a travel history of Saudi Arabia, was found to be infected with the virus. The district officials said that entire village has been quarantined. Her husband and another neighbour who had gone abroad, are also under observation. 

On the other hand, to prevent people from large gathering section-144 of CrPC that prohibits assembly of more than four people, have been imposed on 14 districts including Ahmedabad, Vadodra, Surat, Rajkot, among other cities. Patel also appealed that people should stay indoors and shouldn't venture out without any urgency. 

Also Read: Coronavirus India update: State-wise total number of confirmed cases

Health department officials said that the six new cases of the deadly virus were detected in persons aged between 23 and 52 , all males, in Surat, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and Vadodara. Vadodara and Surat have reported three cases each while one case was detected in Rajkot. Ahmedabad is highest with five cases.

In Vadodara, the infection was detected in a 52-year-old male who had returned from Sri Lanka with a group of 12 people. Yesterday, one of the women, 62-year-old, who is part of the same group, was detected with the virus. "We have quarantined all of them and taking all measures to contain the spread of the virus," Vadodara district collector Shalini Agarwal told DH. 

Also Read: Coronavirus FAQs: All you need to know about the new pandemic COVID-19

Similarly in Gandhinagar, a person, who had returned from America, was found to be infected. However, local officials said that the travel history of this person, a builder, is from Dubai. As a matter of fact, the official version of district collectors and updates on cases issued by the health department often don't match. 

A release from the department said that 189 suspected cases have been reported out of which 13 were found to be positive while reports of 28 samples are awaited. 

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