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Gujarat's Virus Boom: CM Rupani Visits Surat to Assess Response, 26 New Micro Containment Zones in Ahmedabad

File photo of Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani.

File photo of Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani.

Surat has seen a worrisome rise in coronavirus cases over the last few days, with several persons testing positive at Katargam, Varachha and Sarthana localities, which are home to diamond polishing units and workers.

Concerned over the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Surat, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel arrived in the city on Saturday to take stock of preparedness to tackle the pandemic.

Surat has seen a worrisome rise in coronavirus cases over the last few days, with several persons testing positive at Katargam, Varachha and Sarthana localities, which are home to diamond polishing units and workers.

Rupani and Patel, who is also the state health minister, will hold a meeting with the district collector, city civic chief and health officials to take stock of the outbreak and steps being taken to contain the spread.

The chief minister is accompanied by chief secretary Anil Mukim and chief secretary to the chief minister K Kailasanathan.

The diamond polishing units in the city have been hit by the outbreak, as they were ordered to remain shut for a week starting June 30 after 570 workers and their relatives tested positive for the infection in a month.

On Friday, the Surat Municipal Corporation also ordered the closure of paan shops in affected localities in its effort to contain the viral spread.

Surat has so far reported 5,461 COVID-19 cases, of which 198 persons have succumbed to the infection and 1,803 patients are currently undergoing treatment at various hospitals.

Meanwhile, in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Ahmedabad civic body in Gujarat has identified 26 new micro containment zones in the city, which is the biggest COVID-19 hotspot in the state.

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) said that intense door-to-door surveillance will be carried out to detect new cases in these micro containment zones, where movement of people is restricted.

These newly-identified areas took the number of micro-containment zones in the city to 84, where around 35,000 people live.

The civic body said that two areas with an estimated population of 1,246 were removed from the list of micro containment zones, and 26 areas, where 5,988 people reside, were added after fresh COVID-19 cases were reported from there.

"There were 60 existing micro containment areas in Ahmedabad. After detailed discussions, two areas were removed from that list and 26 new areas were added after fresh coronavirus cases were reported from there," the AMC said in a statement issued late on Friday.

Eight of these 26 newly-identified areas are in the West zone, which accounts for around 21 per cent of the active cases in the city. Six micro containment areas are in the North-West zone of the city that is the second most-affected zone in the city with around 16 per cent active cases.

East and South-West zones have four of these micro containment zones, while the Central zone has one, the civic body said. Intense door-to door surveillance will be carried out in these newly identified areas and suspected cases will be tested, it added.

This new micro containment zones were identified even as the city's number of daily coronavirus cases has seen a drop recently. During the 'Unlock-1', the civic body had decided to identify "micro containment zones" or areas as small as a residential society where cases of coronavirus have been reported.

Till Friday evening, 20,689 COVID-19 positive cases and 1,411 deaths were reported in Ahmedabad city.