AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government is not in favour of imposing a lockdown in the state considering its impact on the poor despite the rise in coronavirus positive cases, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Saturday.
However, he welcomed the voluntary imposition of lockdowns at a local level by villages or market associations in cities.
"The state government is not willing to impose a lockdown in the state considering the problems faced by the poor people. We have already imposed a curfew for 10 hours in a day to restrict the unnecessary movement of people," Rupani said when asked if the government was thinking of clamping a lockdown in view of the rising cases.
Rupani was speaking to reporters after flagging off 20 new 'Dhanvantari' vans which will conduct coronavirus tests in public places and also suggest treatment. "If any market association imposes a lockdown at a local level or if any village imposes such a measure, it is welcome to do so," the chief minister said.
Amid the upswing in cases, many villages, housing societies and market organisations in Gujarat have declared lockdowns in their respective areas. The market organisation of Sola road in Ahmedabad has also decided to impose a lockdown on Saturday and Sunday to break the chain of transmission.
A 'janta' curfew for two days is also observed in Palanpur city, but some traders kept their shops open. With the latest addition of 4,541 fresh COVID-19 cases, the tally of cases in Gujarat reached 3,37,015 on Friday, as per the state health department.
Meanwhile, the CM denied reports that the state government was hiding the true data on the count of fatalities caused by the COVID-19 infection. "As per the guidelines of the ICMR, if a comorbid patient dies then a committee of experts decides the primary and secondary causes of such death. If that committee identifies the main cause of the death as a heart attack then even though the patient was infected, such death is not counted as caused by coronavirus. The same system is followed in the entire country," he said.
As per the state health government, Gujarat's overall COVID-19 toll stood at 4,697 as on Friday. Rupani further said the state government has made arrangements for hospital beds, oxygen, Remdesivir injections and other facilities to treat patients.