With COVID-19 cases in Gujarat skyrocketing, the opposition Congress in the state have demanded a five-day public holiday beginning Saturday to break the chain of infection.
Former Gujarat Congress president Siddharth Patel’s appeal came on a day when the state recorded 21,225 new cases in the last 24 hours that ended at 5pm. With 16 deaths, the official death toll in the state has gone up to 10,215. Active cases in the state stand at 1,63,843.
Patel squarely blamed the state government for the state of affairs and alleged that the high number of cases are due to the “failure of the government”. He blamed events like Namaste Trump, cricket matches, elections to local self-government bodies and the Global Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2022 for the staggering number of cases.
Though the Vibrant Gujarat Summit was postponed, several pre-summit programmes were organized across the state.
Patel said that if the chain of infection is to be broken public holidays should be announced for five days beginning Saturday.
Newly-appointed state Congress president Jagdish Thakore alleged that the state government of Gujarat has hidden the real death toll. After the Supreme Court pulled up the state government, it approved 58,840 cases for death compensation. According to Thakore, 11,000 applications are under process and about 5,000 have been rejected.
On Friday, Ahmedabad municipal corporation limits topped the chart with 8,627 new cases. Half of the total number of deaths in the state were recorded in Ahmedabad. The heritage city was followed by Vadodara municipal corporation limits with 2,432 cases and Surat municipal corporation limits 2,124 cases.
The state government on its part has extended the night curfew to 19 cities. Earlier, the night curfew from 10 pm to 6 am was only in eight big cities.