The state government has put in place sweeping measures.
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat reporting a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases, adding 308 positive cases and 16 deaths in a single day, is obviously shocking for a vibrant state of India, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. So far, the state has a total of 4,082 positive cases and 197 deaths. On Thursday, 93 patients were discharged, totalling 527 recoveries so far. Only Ahmedabad recorded 234 cases and 9 deaths, taking the total numbers to 2,777 and 137 respectively. So far, 263 have recovered in the city, including 22 last Wednesday. As on 29 April evening 3,324 cases are stable and 34 patients are getting treatment on ventilator. Obviously, worries are beginning to mount whether Gujarat will also witness a significant outbreak in the days ahead. This is despite the sweeping measures put in place by the state government.
Effective action plan and its implementation
The war against Covid-19 has opened a battlefront everywhere, including an unprecedented lockdown. The state government immediately worked out a strategy to combat the virus. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and his government did not delay in executing the action plan. For policy decisions, the Chief Minister constituted a core committee, including himself, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, Minister of State (Home) Pradipsinh Jadeja, Chief Secretary Anil Mukim and some other senior officials. This committee meets daily to take stock of the situation and direct their respective teams for responsive actions.
Similar tasks have been assigned to Industries Commissioner for Rajkot, Education Secretary for Vadodara and Vadodara Municipal Commissioner for Surat, based on their respective previous stints in these regions. For smooth functioning of procurement procedures, a committee has been constituted with a Principal Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary Finance, Science and Technology Secretary and senior health department officials as its members.
It is important that there is no shortage or blockage in the availability of the essential supplies—food grains, fruits, vegetables, milk and basic medical supplies, including masks and sanitizers. This is being addressed by a committee formed with Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies Secretary and Animal Husbandry and Cooperation Secretary as its members. Officials of the Food and Civil Supplies department, along with the Police administration, are ensuring that essential commodities are transported smoothly, and reach the needy.
The strategy of the Rupani government is multi-pronged. First, it identified the hotspots and sealed them under the cluster containment strategy. Second, is the aggressive testing in the highly infected areas to be able to identify the infected people and isolate them, to contain the spread of the virus.
The Gujarat government has decided to carry out plasma transfusion treatment on Covid-19 patients in the state, particularly those in critical condition, to boost their immunity. The government of Gujarat and ICMR signed an MoU for conducting plasma therapy on 18 April 2020. On 19 April, Smruti Thakkar, the first patient to recover, donated plasma at SVP hospital.
The process was conducted by Dr Nidhi Bhatnagar. At present, Gujarat has conducted the therapy on two patients. According to sources, the patients are responding to the treatment and their oxygen requirement has decreased. The health ministry, Government of India, recently said in a press briefing that currently plasma therapy is at an experimental stage and there is no evidence yet to support that it can be used as treatment for Covid-19.
Outreach by CM Vijay Rupani
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has set up a dashboard at his official residence in Gandhinagar. This dashboard is playing an important role in the present corona battle. Normally, through this dashboard, the Chief Minister monitors the development of district level activities of different schemes launched by the state government. Under the CM dashboard, 16 sectors such as Revenue, Agriculture, Health, Education, other public oriented schemes, Energy, Road and Building are covered through around 450 indicators. This dashboard is prepared by compilation of Chief Minister office, N.I.C, Planning Division and the Science and Technology Department. As many as 94 M.I.S databases are being integrated on one platform. Review and evaluation of daily, weekly and monthly activities of different schemes operated by Central and state government are being monitored directly with the functioning of the CM dashboard. Rupani takes a review of the activities and also directly guides the District Collector for taking appropriate steps.
The Chief Minister has assured them of all possible help. It has sent a strong message to the citizens of the state that the Chief Minister and the state government is closely observing the situation and is concerned about the well-being of each citizen. The Chief Minister also spoke to the doctors, nurses, paramedical staff of various hospitals across the state, who are fighting this battle at the frontline.
Vijay Rupani’s government is known as transparent, sensitive, decisive and progressive among Gujarati people.
People like the Chief Minister because of his down-to-earth approach. People admire him for his simplicity and generosity. Gujarat is one of the few states in the country that has drawn such industrial policies, making it the most preferred destination not only for investors of the country, but also for foreign investors.