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Central teams visit Ahmedabad, Surat to assess COVID-19 crisis

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In a bid to assess the COVID-19 situation, separate central teams, on Saturday, visited Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat that have emerged as coronavirus hotspots with the maximum number of cases and deaths.

The teams held talks with senior officials, including collectors, civic chiefs, police commissioners in Ahmedabad and Surat. Both the inter-ministerial central teams (IMCT) are headed by additional secretary-level officers.

The visit comes a day after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that the coronavirus situation in Ahmedabad, Surat, Thane (Maharashtra), Hyderabad (Telangana) and Chennai (Tamil Nadu) is “especially serious”. Till Friday evening, Ahmedabad district reported 1,821 coronavirus positive cases, while the number of such patients in Surat district is 462. As many as 83 patients have died in Ahmedabad, while 14 others succumbed to the infection in Surat district.

“The central teams held discussions with senior officials of the local administrations in the two hotspot cities on issues like rising cases of coronavirus and implementation of lockdown measures,” official sources said. The Surat team held talks with state Chief Secretary Anil Mukim through video-conference, during which they discussed the condition of migrant workers stuck in Surat. Surat Municipal Commissioner BN Pani said he took part in the meeting. However, he did not share any further details.

These central teams will visit some of the COVID-19 hotspot localities in Ahmedabad and Surat cities, the sources said. The MHA has directed the central teams to make an on-the-spot assessment of the situation and issue necessary directions to the state authorities for its redressal and submit their report to the central government.

The teams are tasked with taking stock of different factors, like compliance and implementation of lockdown measures as per guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, supply of essential commodities, social distancing, and preparedness of health infrastructure, hospital facilities and sample statistics in the district.

Gujarat reports 191 COVID-19 cases, 15 deaths in 24-hours; 14 deaths in Ahmedabad