With Covid-19 guidelines eased, cases surge in Gujarat

With Covid-19 guidelines eased, cases surge in Gujarat

On Tuesday, the state reported 1,125 fresh Covid-19 cases, out of which Ahmedabad alone recorded 218 cases

Representative image. Credit: AFP

After relaxing social distancing and other guidelines to contain coronavirus spread in view of the festivity, Gujarat is once again witnessing a surge in the number of infected persons, forcing the government to devise plans to increase hospitals' capacity to accommodate serious patients in hospitals. 

On Tuesday, the state reported 1,125 fresh Covid-19 cases, out of which Ahmedabad alone recorded 218 cases, one of the highest numbers in recent weeks. The total number of daily cases had also gone down below 1000 till a week ago which is now surging.

Considering the rising numbers, the civic bodies are said to have denied permission for Chhath pooja in public places in cities such as Ahmedabad and Surat where lakhs of migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh live. The rising number has increased the pressure on all designated hospitals, private as well as government- in Ahmedabad, Surat, among other cities.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who is also the health minister, took stock of the situation on Monday and visited the civil hospital in Ahmedabad where he said that "Due to festivity, we are anticipating peak of the infection and for that purpose, we are devising plans to keep the logistics in Covid-19 hospital ready." 

Last week, the government eased the timing of shopping and food joints till midnight in view of the festivity. Earlier, such activity was restricted to 10 PM. Before such decisions, Ahmedabad was reporting nearly 150 new coronavirus cases daily which increased to over 200 within a week of relaxation. Patel also announced that considering the infection surging again, creation of an ICU ward at the civil hospital in Ahmedabad for covid-19 patients.

"We are witnessing a sharp rise of people lining up outside the testing camps across the city which mostly have rapid antigen testing kits. There were reports of asymptomatic persons lining for the test which compelled the civic body to change its testing policy. Now, only those with symptoms will be tested while asymptomatics will have to reveal that they came in touch with any infection person," said a health officer.