Statue of Unity closed; CM asks people to be vigilant

Statue of Unity closed; Vijay Rupani asks people to remain vigilant

The Chief Minister urged citizens to be vigilant so that disease does not spread in Gujarat. PTI file photo

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday appealed to citizens to maintain vigil and follow the government's guidelines to ensure that coronavirus does not spread in the state.

The state government has banned entry to tourists at Statue of Unity in Kevadia town of Narmada district till March 25 and also directed hotels and restaurants to avoid hosting large functions.

Gujarat has not reported a single positive case of COVID-19 so far.

"Due to the state government's efforts and people's cooperation, no case of coronavirus has been recorded in Gujarat. The disease has spread rapidly across the world and is found is small numbers in India too," he said in a video message released on social media.

The Chief Minister urged citizens to be vigilant so that disease does not spread in Gujarat.

People of the state have migrated to many countries and keep on travelling across the world for business, he said, adding that guidelines issued by the Central government and World Health Organisation should be followed.

The government has taken steps including screening people travelling from foreign countries, closing schools, colleges, cinema halls, public places and tourist spots, he said.

Rupani advised people above 60 years of age and those who suffer from medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or any other ailment, to practice self-quarantine.

"The fatality rate of this disease in around 2 per cent and the state is prepared to treat patients so nobody should panic," he assured.

Meanwhile, addressing the media on Tuesday, principal secretary Jayanti Ravi said the district administration of Narmada has decided not to allow tourists at the Statue of Unity till March 25, after registering a drop of 60 per cent in visitor inflow.

The government has also asked private doctors and government medical colleges to intensify surveillance to track cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI), as they could be cases of COVID-19.

"We spoke to several top doctors, experts of Indian Medical Association, as well as deans and superintendents of government medical colleges, and asked them to intensify surveillance of SARI cases because they might be cases of COVID-19," she said.

Hotels and restaurants have been asked not to host large functions, she said, adding that a massive drive has been launched to clean state transport buses.

Health secretaries of neighbouring and other states have been contacted and asked to prevent interstate movement of people.

Private organisations have also been told to allow employees to work from home wherever possible.

"The situation is reasonably under control. There is no need for panic. We are fully prepared in the event of positive cases coming up," she said.

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