On a war footing to contain the rapid growth of Covid-19 cases and deaths, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Wednesday ordered all shops except those providing milk and medicines to remain closed till May 15, 2020.
Aimed at minimising crowding and encouraging social distancing, the civic body also ordered all fruits, vegetables and grocery shops to remain closed till May 15, an AMC circular read. On Tuesday, Ahmedabad had posted a single day jump of 336 new cases and 39 deaths due to Covid-19 and by Wednesday evening new cases in a single day was 380 and 28 deaths, taking the total tally of the state to 6,662 cases and 396 deaths.
With the current commissioner Vijay Nehra home-quarantined for coming in contact with a Covid-19 positive person, Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) vice-chairman and CEO Mukesh Kumar has been handed the charge of AMC while additional chief secretary - environment Rajiv Kumar Gupta has been appointed to overlook the coronavirus pandemic in Ahmedabad.
The order, signed by Kumar, stated that due to the rising number of positive Covid-19 cases, it is necessary in public interest to take adequate steps to contain the spread of the virus. The circular has warned of penalisation under Section 188 and Section 270 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 for those failing to obey.
Similarly, a circular by Gupta, apart from ordering closure of all shops except milk and medicines, screening of 'super spreaders' like those working in shops like vegetables, fruits, grocery, provisions, super markets and ice-cream parlours and people engaged in home delivery such as Swiggy, Zomato and Dominos was also ordered. With an estimated 2000 super spreaders in each zone, a target of 500 daily screening has been set for each of 48 wards in Ahmedabad.
Moreover, all banks except ATMs have been ordered to be closed in the red zones till further notice.
A ward-wise Covid containment strategy will be prepared to address issues like testing, implementation of lockdown, health infrastructure, quarantine facilities and active surveillance. To boost infrastructure while nine private hospitals in Ahmedabad with an aggregate capacity of 1000 beds are being designated as Covid-19 hospitals, private hotels of three star category and below but having at least 50 air-conditioned rooms are being identified for establishing Covid Care Centres in each zone.
Private clinics, nursing homes and hospitals will also be issued notice to open their clinics within 48 hours or lose their licenses.
Meanwhile, 200,000 Covid Care kits comprising four soaps, four washable masks as well as ayurvedic and homeopathic alternate medicines will be distributed in slums and poor localities by surveillance teams along with NGOs and elected representatives.