There will be no statewide lockdown in Gujarat, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said as the state's largest city, Ahmedabad, prepares for a 57-hour "complete curfew" from tonight till Monday morning in a bid to contain a sudden spike in coronavirus cases.
"There is no question of imposing a lockdown in Gujarat at present. We have decided to implement a weekend curfew, on Saturday and Sunday, in Ahmedabad city only," Mr Rupani said.
In Ahmedabad, only shops selling milk and medicines will be allowed to remain open during the "complete curfew". Authorities in the city have already announced an indefinite night curfew from 9 pm to 6 am which will continue from Monday night, after the weekend curfew.
The decision to impose the night curfew was taken on Thursday at meeting led by the Chief Minister, with senior leaders like Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel present. Senior officials of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation too were also present.
Ahmedabad has been reporting over 200 COVID-19 cases in a singed day as compared to 140 daily cases a few months ago. 230 fresh cases were reported on Thursday.
Around 600 buses operated by the city civic body will be off the roads during the weekend curfew. Ahead of the curfew, markets in the city were crowded today with people stocking up essentials for the weekend.
Civic body officials in Ahmedabad have also started penalising people who do not wear masks and are making them take Covid tests. "We're doing rapid antigen tests on people not wearing masks. If they test positive, then they're sent to a Covid centre, else they're fined Rs. 1,000," a health official was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The Gujarat government has decided not to reopen schools and colleges on Monday due to the rise in Covid cases Gujarat, which has reported over 1.92 virus cases, including 3,830 deaths, is among the four states where the centre sent high-level teams on Sunday due to contain the rising number of infections.
The Union Health ministry said Dr SK Singh, director of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), will lead the team to Gujarat.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)