The state of Gujarat, which seemed to be largely immune to the coronavirus outbreak, has now said five persons have tested positive for Covid-19.
Of these, two positive cases had surfaced in the state on Thursday, while the results for the other three, which were awaited, also turned out to be positive. This was revealed by Jayanti Ravi, principal secretary for health in Government of Gujarat on Friday.
On Thursday, Surat and Rakjot reported one case each and on Friday, the state health department said two from Ahmedabad and one from Vadodara had also tested positive.
Apparently, all five are under 35 years of age and have traveled abroad recently. They have been kept under isolation at hospitals in their respective cities, Ravi said.
"Local administrations across the State have been alerted and we are taking all precautionary measures. The infected persons have traveled overseas recently. We are keeping a close check on all persons coming to Gujarat," the state's deputy chief minister, Nitin Patel, said on Friday.
While five have been declared positive, the state government now awaits results for 23 more cases, Ravi said. "Notably, no one has been kept on ventilator and their condition is stable. Most of the patients are asymptomatic," Ravi added. While the Vadodara resident had arrived from Spain, the two women from Ahmedabad had traveled to Finland and the US.
According to Ravi, the state administration is now trying to locate others who came in contact with the five, and is placing such people under quarantine. "District collectors, municipal commissioners and police are being roped in for help. We are trying to ensure that this virus doesn't move towards clustering," she said.
The state government says it has adequate testing facilities with a capacity to examine 200 samples daily even as it hopes to get two additional labs from ICMR by Sunday.
Meanwhile, ahead of the Sunday, March 22 voluntary curfew called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a bid to ensure self-isolation, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani has stated that all intra-city and inter-city state transport buses will remain off the road that day. "We will ensure the Janata Curfew is followed across Gujarat in true spirit. All the State Transport buses of GSRTC, City buses and Jan Marg BRTS buses across Gujarat will remain shut this Sunday," Rupani said.