‘Must learn to live with Covid-19’: CM Vijay Rupani as Gujarat reports second highest mortality rate in country

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Updated: May 20, 2020 11:38:04 AM

Gujarat Covid19 cases: Gujarat is the second worst-affected state after Maharashtra due to coronavirus. Of the 3,303 COVID-19 fatalities in the country, Maharashtra tops the tally with 1,325 deaths and Gujarat comes second with 719 deaths.

coroanvirus in gujaratGujarat CM VIjay Rupani said that the state government has made all efforts to flatten the Coronavirus curve in the but maintained that the crisis is not limited to Gujarat alone. (File pic IE)

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has said that the battle against coronavirus is a long-drawn process, one that requires discipline and patience. Rupani heads the state which now reports the second highest COVID-19 mortality rate in the country despite reporting its first case as late as March 19. Speaking to The Indian Express, Rupani said that the state government has made all efforts to flatten the curve in the state but maintained that the crisis is not limited to Gujarat alone.

“We must follow all the necessary safety protocols and learn to live with COVID-19. The crisis is not limited to Gujarat. We must look at it with a holistic and comprehensive approach. The state government has done intensive testing across Gujarat. So far, we have tested more than 1.27 lakh people with a daily capacity of 3,000. I am happy to share that the recovery rate has risen in the last 10 days to 40.62% and more than 4,000 people have been discharged during the same. We will witness a flattening curve very soon, not just in Gujarat but in India,” Rupani told IE.

The Chief Minister also held members of the Tablighi Jamaat responsible for the spread of coronavirus cases in Ahmedabad, the worst-hit city in the state. Rupani said data showed a large of number cases registered in Ahmedabad were directly linked to Tablighis. “Statistics show that 80% of the cases in Ahmedabad originated from 20% area of the city,” he said.

“There is no doubt that a large number of cases in Ahmedabad emerged due to Tablighi Jamaat,” he said, adding that another aspect of the rise is the increase in testing capacity.

On ramping up testing facilities, he said that the state has done intensive testing in all the 33 districts. Rupani said more than 1.27 lakh people have been tested so far with a daily capacity of 3,000.

Gujarat is the second worst-affected state after Maharashtra due to coronavirus. Of the 3,303 COVID-19 fatalities in the country, Maharashtra tops the tally with 1,325 deaths and Gujarat comes second with 719 deaths. The state has 12,140 positive cases, the third highest in the country.

The lockdown which was announced in the last week of March has left many jobless and lakhs of migrants are stranded in different cities due to suspension of public transport facilities. The daily wagers have been hit hard due to the lockdown, prompting the government to run special trains six weeks later to ferry them back home.

Rupani claimed that the state government is rushing migrants back to their native places with dignity and providing all possible help that the state can do during the coronavirus-induced lockdown. He said that state has so far operated 476 special trains, the maximum in India, and 6.72 lakh migrant workers have returned to their home states.

He said that the state is taking all measures to facilitate the return journey of migrants as “we strongly believe that they should be with their near and dear ones amidst the crisis”. He said that migrants undergo health checkup before they leave Gujarat and when they enter their home states.

“My government has enabled them to reach their homes with utmost dignity and care. We have provided buses to help them reach the railway station. The buses and the trains follow all the safety protocols. We provide them food and potable water during the journey,” he told the daily.

The Chief Minister said ensuring their safety amid a crisis is the most important task. He said that the state government is taking help of experts to deal with the situation and assured that the western state has ample medical staff at its disposal. “We have roped in private practitioners too, and recently, we decided to reopen all private hospitals in Ahmedabad,” he said.

Rupani said the government is providing wages of more than Rs 1,000 crore to labourers, including migrants, and ensuring they are not fired. “We initiated the Anna Brahma Yojana for providing free foodgrains to all migrant workers and non-ration card holders, and food packets to all those without cooking facilities,” he said.

After April 20, more than 7 lakh workers have been employed in more than 45,000 industrial units and more than 30,000 labourers at around 700 private construction sites, he shared.

To a question on charging for trains tickets or any facility provided to migrant workers during the journey, he said that the state is not charging them for anything. “We do the registration, provide buses to the railway station and facilitate their boarding of the train,” he said.

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