Night curfew in Ahmedabad from Nov 20 as COVID-19 cases jump

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(Eds: Adds details) Ahmedabad, Nov 19 (PTI) Due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, a night curfew will be imposed in Ahmedabad city of Gujarat from Friday to curb the spread of the infection, a top government official said on Thursday.

The curfew will be in force between 9 pm and 6 am from November 20 (Friday) and remain in operation till further orders, he said.

The announcement was made by Additional Chief Secretary (Forest and Environment) Rajiv Kumar Gupta, who has been appointed as the Officer on Special Duty by the Gujarat government to oversee Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)'s coronavirus-related operations.

He said beds for coronavirus patients are fast filling up in private hospitals with just around 400 of them remaining vacant in the city, which has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases in the last few days.

Around 2,600 beds are vacant in government-run hospitals in the city, he added.

Notably, Ahmedabad city has been witnessing a steady rise in coronavirus cases since the beginning of this month.

From 125 to 130 daily cases a few months ago, the city is now witnessing over 200 COVID-19 infections.

In a statement, Gupta said though the AMC administration is taking various preventive steps, night curfew is needed to contain the spread of the viral infection among people.

The senior IAS officer said the curfew between 9 pm and 6 am will remain in force until further orders.

He said the decision has been taken as per the guidance received from Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

Gupta noted that restrictions are needed as people are flocking markets and other places in large numbers, which increases the chances of human-to-human transmission.

To address the issue of high number of patients, Gupta said additional 900 COVID-19 beds have been made available at four government-run hospitals in and around Ahmedabad.

These are Kidney Hospital, Cancer Hospital and Sola Civil Hospital (all in Ahmedabad) and adjoining Gandhinagar Civil Hospital, the senior bureaucrat said.

At present, a total of 2,637 beds for coronavirus patients are available in the city - 2,237 in government-run hospitals and 400 in private COVID-19 designated hospitals, Gupta said. PTI PJT PD RSY RSY