AHMEDABAD: To fight the coronavirus in an effective manner by enforcing social distancing, the Gujarat government decided to put the entire state under lockdown from Monday midnight.
The lockdown, starting from Monday midnight, will remain in force till March 31, but essential services will be out of its purview, a senior official said.
The state-wide shutdown comes after Gujarat found 12 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, taking the total number to 30.
One person has died due to the infection in Surat.
"Police will implement the lockdown in a strict manner. People should not come out of their homes unless necessary. We have also decided to seal Gujarat's borders with the neighbouring states. Grocery items, vegetable and milk shops will remain open during this period. Other essential service like hospital, medicine shops and petrol pumps not get affected by the lockdown," said DGP Shivanand Jha in Gandhinagar.
He warned people that police will act tough against those found roaming on the roads without any concrete reason.
"We hereby put a ban on people's movement. Citizens must refrain from roaming on their vehicles unless it is necessary. You will be caught by the police if you do not have a valid reason to be out of your home. Violators will be booked under the Epidemic Diseases Act and for violating section 144 of the CrPC. I urge people to cooperate with police," he said.
Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Sangeeta Singh, said all private offices, shops, factories and godowns will remain shut till March 31.
With the addition of 12 new coronavirus patients, the total number of such cases have gone up to 30, said Gujarat Health and Family Welfare Department.
With this, the number of cases in Ahmedabad has risen to 13, Vadodara six, Surat five, Gandhinagar four, Kutch and Rajkot - one each, the health department said.
The state has so far reported one death a 67-year- old man from Surat who succumbed to the infection on Sunday.
He was suffering from ailments like kidney failure and asthma, officials had said.
Till now, the entire Kutch district and five major cities - Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot and Gandhinagar - were under lockdown to stop the spread of the virus.
Now, the entire state has been put under lockdown.
Over 11,000 people in Gujarat have been put under home quarantine, said Principal Secretary, Health, Jayanti Ravi, adding four hospitals, exclusively to treat coronavirus patients, will be set up in those four cities soon.
"We have also asked all the district collectors to identify and prepare one government and one private hospital, each with 50 beds, in their respective regions so that we can utilise them in case of any future emergency.
"From tomorrow, the government will launch a project to track over 27,000 people who have entered Gujarat since March 1 through various entry points," she said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said "Janata curfew' of Sunday was just a token measure and affected districts of the state will have to follow partial lockdown till March 31.
"Sunday's Janata curfew was just a token. It necessary that people of Gujarat follow this till March 31. People should not come out unnecessarily. We are about to enter the third stage of coronavirus, where the virus transmits in communities with a multiplying effect. China is in the fifth stage when the recovery starts," said Rupani in the Assembly.
"Till now, we have put five major cities - Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot and Gandhinagar - and Kutch district under lockdown. Now, we are mulling to stop people's movement in all those districts where positive cases of coronavirus will emerge in the coming days. Essential goods will be available to people during the partial lockdown," said the CM.
Rupani said different industry associations have assured him to shut down their factories till March 31.
He said industry bodies have expressed their support for the lockdown.