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As coronavirus spreads like wildfire, Gujarat govt resorts to information management

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The Gujarat government on Thursday clarified that it is going to release the state’s COVID-19 related data only once daily at 6 pm. The decision comes at a time when the state government and the local authorities are literally struggling to contain the spread of coronavirus in the state, with hundreds of fresh cases pouring in every day.

Notably, Gujarat has already earned criticism as it has occupied the second spot in terms of COVID-19 case burden in the country after Maharashtra. This apart, Gujarat has also the lowest coronavirus recovery rate in the country, with a rapidly increasing death toll.

Health secretary Jayanti Ravi informed the media that henceforth, the state government will release COVID-19-related data for Gujarat on a daily basis for a 24-hour period ending at 6 pm. So far, the government was providing two updates of COVID-19 cases every day.

She tried to justify the increasing number of COVID-19 related deaths and claimed that the government is maintaining 100 percent transparency in reporting coronavirus-linked deaths.

She said in the majority of the over 100 deaths reported from the state, the deceased was already suffering from a pre-existing ailment such as diabetes, hypertension, heart and lung ailments, etc. She claimed that due to the pre-existing ailments, the affected persons were left with low immunity to combat the viral infection.

She also said the government will continue to run around 3,000 tests every day, which is the optimum capacity of the state. While around 2,500 tests will be carried out on people from various parts of Gujarat, the remaining 500 will be used to test people who have been placed under quarantine.

She also requested senior citizens and people with pre-existing ailments to stay at home and remain alert.

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