In the highest single-day spike ever since the pandemic struck in 2020, Gujarat on Wednesday reported a whopping 3,350 Covid-19 cases and 50 others infected by Omicron during the last 24 hours while the State Government is adamant on holding the much-hyped Vibrant Gujarat Investors Summit.
Ahmedabad with 1,637 cases and Surat at 630 cases continued to drive the surge in Covid-19 cases in the State. Vadodara city with 150 new cases, Rajkot 141 and Anand 114 cases followed. Out of 50 Omicron infections, Ahmedabad registered the highest 34 cases. As earlier, it is the cities that are reported the maximum cases.
The State Government, meanwhile, is all set to organise its three-day biennial Vibrant Gujarat Investors Summit beginning on January 10. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the event.
At least one country, Mozambique, out of the 17 who had confirmed their participation has dropped out after its prime minister tested positive for Covid-19. The government is tight-lipped about the number of delegates and countries who may drop out or have already conveyed so since the virus is spreading its tentacles across many countries.
Among all these, five senior IAS officials associated with Covid-19 management and the investors summit have been infected by the dreaded virus. They include Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Manoj Aggarwal, Health Commissioner Jaiprakash Shivhare, JP Gupta, principal secretary (finance) Commissioner of municipalities administration and MD of GUDC Rajkumar Beniwal, Hareet Shukla, tourism secretary. Aggarwal, Gupta and Shukla had contracted Covid-19 even during the second wave.
According to Secretariat sources, several bureaucrats have called upon the ruling BJP to hold the high-octane summit online and drop the physical event in view of the unprecedented rise in fresh cases and also after the virus has hit even those bureaucrats who are supposed to handle it.
Already, the State Government has extended the night curfew timings from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and imposed several restrictions, including 50% capacity Ahmedabad’s city buses as well as not permitting government staff who are not fully vaccinated.
The state police are also vigilant in enforcing the mask rule and social distancing.
In Surat, the local administration has invoked Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code against the assembly of four or more persons at public places.
As against, all the public events of the State Governments are continuing normally oblivious to the surge in Covid-19 cases.
As of Wednesday, Gujarat had 10,994 active cases and in all, over 8.19 lakh people have recovered. According to an official statement, the State’s recovery rate is 97.49%.