AHMEDABAD: In a drastic move to stem the COVID-19 spread in Ahmedabad city after a spike in cases, authorities have decided to impose a 57-hour-long weekend curfew in municipal limits here from Friday night, said officials on Thursday.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the prevailing situation, the Gujarat government has put on hold its earlier decision to open secondary schools and colleges in the state from November 23, said an official release.
The curfew in Ahmedabad city will start from Friday (Nov 20) at 9 pm and end on Monday (Nov 23) at 6 am, the officials said.
During this "complete curfew", only milk and medicine shops willremain open, said Additional Chief Secretary (Forest and Environment) Rajiv Kumar Gupta, appointed as the Officer on Special Duty by the Gujarat government to oversee Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)'s coronavirus-related operations.
From Monday, a night curfew will be imposed from 9 pm to 6 am till further orders, he said.
"The corona situation was reviewed late night and it has been decided that a complete curfew shall be imposed from tomorrow night 9:00 pm till Monday morning 6:00 amin the city of Ahmedabad."
"During this period, only shops selling milk and medicines shall be permitted to remain open," Gupta said in a tweet on Thursday night.
In the evening, Gupta had announced that a night curfew will be in force daily between 9 pm and 6 am from Friday (Nov 20) till further orders.
Hours after making that announcement, Gupta said a "complete curfew" will be enforced from Friday night till Monday morning.
Gupta clarified that the daily night curfew will come into force in the city on Monday at 9 pm.
Notably, Ahmedabad city has been witnessing a steady rise in coronavirus cases since the beginning of this month.
From around 140 daily cases a few months ago, the city is now witnessing over 200 COVID-19 single-day infections.
As many as 230 persons from the city were found infected with coronavirus in 24 hours ending at 5 pm on Thursday, the state health department said.
In a statement issued in the evening, Gupta said though the AMC administration is taking various preventive steps, restriction on people's movement is needed to contain the spread of the viral infection among people.
The senior IAS officer said restrictions are needed as people are flocking markets and other places in large numbers, which increases the chances of human-to-human transmission.
To deal with the rising 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.
Gupta said 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.