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Gujarat's COVID-19 count rises to 35, massive survey underway

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

Two persons with recent international travel history are among five new coronavirus positive cases reported in Gujarat, taking the state-wide count of the infection to 35 on Tuesday, a top government official said.

Out of these fresh five cases, three are of local transmission - two in Gandhinagar and one in Rajkot - while one patientfrom Rajkot and one from Surat has history of travelling abroad, including Saudi Arabia, recently, the official said.

With this, Ahmedabad has reported 13 coronavirus cases till now, followed by Vadodara, Surat and Gandhinagar (6 each), Rajkot (3) and Kutch (1), he said.

The state health department has also carried out intensive surveillance of 30 lakh people in districts with positive cases, and intends to cover the entire state in coming two weeks as part of preventive measures to contain the spread of the deadly virus, Chief Secretary Anil Mukim said.

All ministers in Gujarat have decided to donate one month's salary in the CM Relief Fund to help fight the pandemic.

Any donor, corporate house or individual, wanting to contribute towards the anti-coronavirus fight may do so by making donations to the CM Relief Fund, he said.

"Out of new 110 samples received today, we tested 97 cases, out of which two are positive while 93 are negative (other results pending). Both the positive cases are from Rajkot, with one having history of travelling abroad, and another of local transmission," Mukim said.

With this, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state has risen from 33, as reported in the morning, to 35 now, the state's top bureaucrat said.

Mukim said the health department has carried out surveillance of affected districts and covered around 30 lakh people till nows.

"In the coming two weeks, we will cover the entire state," the Chief Secretary said.

It was also decided at a review meeting, attended by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, that all ministers will contribute one month's salary to the CM Relief Fund, he said.

For individual or company desirous of making contribution towards the coronavirus relief, they can do so in the CM Relief Fund. This was also decided at the review meeting," Mukim told reporters.

Outpatient departments (OPDs) of government hospitals will continue to function as usual, and private hospitals have also been requested to run their own such facilities regularly, and free of cost if possible, he said.

Gujarat is the first state to start a state-wide survey to deal with the coronavirus, Principal Secretary (Health) Jayanti Ravi claimed earlier.

The Gujarat government on Monday night announced a lockdown across the state till March 31 to stem the spread of the deadly virus.

Till date, 11,108 people have been placed under 14-day quarantine, out of which 10,850 are under home isolation, 34 in private hospitals and 224 in government facilities, Ravi said.

As many as 21 FIRs have been filed so far against people breaking the quarantine protocol, she said.

Gujarat is the first state which is carrying out surveillance of areas where people have returned from abroad, as well as their neighbours and contacts, using Integrated Disease Surveillance Platform (IDSP), Ravi said.

"The survey also covers people who have reported severe acute respiratory infection, high breathlessness or high fever, and ailments that could be suspected (coronavirus) cases," she said.

The government is in the process of setting up special hospitals in four cities to deal with coronavirus patients, the Principal Secretary.

These hospitals will be in Ahmedabad (1,200 beds), Surat (500 beds), Vadodara (250 beds) and Rajkot (250 beds).

State government-run hospitals have isolation wards with 1,583 beds, while private hospitals in Gujarat in have 635 such beds to deal with coronavirus cases, she said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 24 2020. 21:28 IST