07/05/2020 1:49 PM IST

Ahmedabad Shuts Down For A Week, Paramilitary Forces Deployed

Gujarat reported 382 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday with 291 in Ahmedabad alone.

Police officials patrol a street during lockdown in Ahmedabad on April 19, 2020,

As Covid-19 cases continue to surge in Gujarat, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Wednesday decided to shut all shops — except those selling milk and medicine — till 15 May. 

Gujarat reported 382 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, 291 in Ahmedabad alone, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 6,625, according to The Indian Express.

In an order on Wednesday, Mukesh Kumar, Municipal Commissioner of Ahmedabad, said all shops selling groceries will also be closed till 15 May. 

The AMC also took steps to set up 1,000 more beds for coronavirus patients across nine private hospitals, and create 500-bed capacity COVID care centres in private hotels in each ward of the city to accommodate the rising number of patients, PTI reported.

Principal Secretary (Health) Ravi was quoted as saying by PTI that the Gujarat government has roped in a team of specialists, including experts in the field of critical care, to improve recovery rate.   

Centre steps in

With the alarming number of cases in Gujarat and Ahmedabad being the worst hit, the Central government on Tuesday handed senior IAS officer Dr Rajiv Kumar Gupta the overall charge of Ahmedabad city, The Hindu reported. 

Senior IAS officer from Gandhinagar Mukesh Kumar was made the Commissioner in-charge of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, the report added, after Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra came in contact with a coronavirus patient and was sent on a two-week home quarantine.

Gupta held a meeting with AMC officials before the lockdown in Ahmedabad was announced. The lockdown order said “all those working in shops like vegetables, fruit, grocery, provisions, supermarkets, ice cream parlours and people engaged in home delivery of these items as well as Swiggy, Zomato, Dominos and others become a potent sources of infection for many,” The Indian Express reported. 

Panic buying

Soon after the lockdown order, people rushed out and NDTV reported chaotic panic-buying in several areas of the city. Vegetable carts saw long queues as people thronged them to stock up for the week, the report said.

The Hindu reported traffic jams in the city as people came out to buy essentials.

Gujarat Director General of Police Shivanand Jha said that the Centre has sent seven more companies of paramilitary forces to the state. “Four companies of BSF along with one company of RAF will be deployed in Ahmedabad’s containment areas,” Jha was quoted as saying by The Times of India.