Baroda News

No lockdown on equipment and workers for farming

Movement of farming equipment, farmers and farm labourers will be exempted from lockdown, but the exemption should not be misused and the requirements of social distancing will remain applicable even when the farmers are working in the fields. About 80 % of the police force is involved in implementation of the lockdown; 70,000 police and SRP personnel and 30 thousand home guards are used for this purpose. (30-03-2020)

Power consumption slides by 50% following lockdown

The lockdown to contain the Covid-19 outbreak has hit the energy sector hard. Industrial power demand has fallen drastically and the overall electricity demand has seen a 50% reduction in the nine days of the lockdown. The minimum demand was 13,120 MW on March 18, which reduced to 10,361 MW on the day of the Janata Curfew on March 22, and fell to 6,386 MW on March 27. There is a reduction in power consumption under the Jyoti Gram Yojana as well. The state government is expected to bear a loss of around Rs. 500 crore in the form of electricity duty income in the lockdown period. (30-03-2020)

1,500 prisoners to be released to reduce threat of Covid-19 infection

The Gujarat government has decided to release about 1,500 prisoners from about 14,000 lodged in the state’s 33 jails. A high-power committee led by the Gujarat high court chief justice had proposed to the state government to release some of the prisoners to decrease the inmate density inside jail premises and reduce the threat of Covid-19 infection. The proposal has been accepted by the government. About 1,200 undertrials will be granted temporary bail and about 300 convicts will be granted parole or furlough up to 45 days. (30-03-2020)

Police arrest 13 persons for roaming around

Vadodara city police arrested 13 persons for roaming around without any purpose during the lockdown. The cops have been keeping a watch in different areas using CCTV and drone cameras. When these people were asked why they were moving around they did not have any valid reasons. Police cases for violation of public notification, doing an unlawful or negligent act and committing a malignant act likely to spread an infection that is dangerous to life. Over 3,800 persons have been caught in Gujarat for flouting government notifications as well as home quarantine rules. (29-03-2020)

Stay at home unless you have to move out for essentials

Unless you have to move out for essentials, please stay at home and please allow the police and the authorities to concentrate on more important work. The police have deployed drones fitted with high-definition cameras to ensure that people do not venture out aimlessly.
* Please do not loiter in the streets near your home.
* Please do not gather in your residential society’s common plot or garden or children’s play area.
* Please do not venture out under the pretext of buying provisions; it’s fine if you really have a convincing reason.
Remember, genuine people get inconvenienced when a few people behave irresponsibly. (28-03-2020)

Mobile app keeps track of quarantined persons

A smartphone application will be used across Gujarat to track persons who have been put under quarantine. The app has been launched in the state’s major cities. The app uses Geographic Information System (GIS) to track the person’s device in real time. It has a ‘geo fencing’ feature which alerts authorities if a home-quarantined person moves out of a specified area. Those who violate quarantine rules in Gujarat are sent to government-run quarantine facilities. The app detects location and records information on an hourly basis. It also provides details such as symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty in breathing twice a day. Another app is meant for state-based doctors and health professionals, helping them to report Covid-19 symptoms such as severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) to the state government for quicker identification of patients. So far, about 150 doctors have become part of the initiative. (28-03-2020)

Some services exempted from lockdown and ID proof

Amidst the lockdown announced by the government, there are a few services that have been exempted from lockdown to ensure that citizens gets essential supplies:
*All government, civic body and panchayat services
*Vehicles carrying milk, fruits, grocery
*Edible items, food items, medicine, pest control, production of essential items and civil supplies services
*Medical store, dispensary, hospital, laboratory, production of medical equipment and their research and development centres, pharmacy and health related services
*Fodder, grass for animals, medicine and treatment related items for animals
*Electricity production, distribution and maintenance services
*Internet, telephone, mobile service providers and IT related services
*Print, electronic and social media
*Water supply and sewerage services
*Petrol, diesel, LGP, CNG, PNG related services and production
*Bank, ATM and finance related services, clearing of banks, stock exchange and insurance services
*Post and courier service
*Vehicles carrying biomedical waste, waste carrying vehicles, vehicles carrying food items, vehicles carrying vegetables, loaded or unloaded
*Security services related to essential services
*All essential services related to transportation and distribution along with related e-commerce very essential services
*Industries which are producing items round the clock and who have enough facilities for workers
*People having passes issued by district magistrate, mamlatdar, DDO or TDO or municipal commissioner or deputy municipal commissioner or authority letter to visit a particular place
*Media people, reporter, cameraman or employee of any media house and their vehicles (27-03-2020)

Control room and helpline for supply of essential items in Gujarat

A control room and helpline to facilitate the supply of essential items such as milk, fruits and vegetables is functional in Gandhinagar. A helpline has been set up where where people can call and seek information about the availability of essential commodities. The control room will be operational 24x7 and people can seek assistance about availing of essential commodities by dialing1070 and 079-23251900. (27-03-2020)

All police stations need to be sanitised regularly

There are over 2,700 police personnel in Vadodara working at the city’s 24 police stations and different branch offices. Several people have made the suggestion that all police should be properly and regularly sanitised, specially in the current Covid-19 crisis. At present 90% of the police force is involved in field duties trying to make sure that the lockdown is followed by people. The police personnel are out on the roads and being exposed to possible hazards. When they finish duty they report back to their stations and then go back home. Extra care should be taken by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation to ensure that all police facilities are adequately sanitised. Of course, they are given face masks and hand sanitizers to protect themselves, but their offices too must be sanitised because so many citizens come there with their complaints. In addition to their normal duties, many police personnel are also engaged in helping to give supplies to the poor and the needy and stray animals. (26-03-2020)

Timing restrictions at fuel stations in Gujarat

During the countrywide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19, fuel stations across Gujarat will observe timing restrictions from Thursday. Following a decision taken by Federation of Gujarat Petroleum Dealers’ Association, fuel stations across the state will remain open only from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. About 4,000 petroleum dealers across the state will observe the timing restrictions. (26-03-2020)

Quarantine and treatment facilities for Covid-19 being increased in Vadodara

Serious efforts are being made to increase the facilities for quarantining and treating Covid-19 cases. The objective is to be able to quarantine 1,000 persons and treat 500 persons; this includes the already available facilities . The work of recruiting medical and paramedical staff for these facilities has also begun. According to Education Secretary Vinod Rao – appointed as secretary in-charge of Vadodara city and seven districts in central Gujarat for Covid-19 – the hostel for the training institute for the high-speed railway project will now be used to create a quarantine facility. The hostel has 165 twin-bed rooms with attached toilets; it can take in 330 people for quarantine. The other facilities: 360 persons at 180 rooms in hostels of the GMERS Medical College and Hospital at Gotri; 140 persons in the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare; 200 persons in the facilities of the city’s major petroleum and petrochemicals companies. Hotels in the city have also been identified, if needed. For patients testing positive for Covid-19 and suspected cases with severe respiratory infections, a 50-bed capacity already exists at GMERS, Gotri; another 100 beds are being added to this facility. The ESIS Hospital in Gotri will be upgraded to accommodate 200 patients for treatment, and the railway hospital at Pratapnagar is being equipped to handle 100 such patients. A capacity of over 100 beds will also be available for treating patients at private hospitals in the city. (26-03-2020)

Students of classes 1 to 9 and 11 will be promoted without exam

Due to the uncertainty caused by Covid-19 and the resulting lockdown in Gujarat, the Gujarat government has decided that all students of Classes 1 to 9 and 11 will be promoted to higher standards without examinations. Examinations in primary schools were scheduled in March and April. More than 70 lakh students in nearly 55,000 schools across the state have been exempted from the final exams. Earlier, mass promotions happened in 1974 during the Navnirman agitation, in 1985 during the anti-reservation riots, in 2001 after the earthquake, and in 2002 after the post-Godhra riots. The state government has also withheld its plan to start the new academic session in April and said that it will roll out the plan from next year. The education department circular also exempts all teaching and non-teaching staff from going to schools unless they are specifically assigned work either by the state government or by the local administration. The teaching and non-teaching staff in self-financed schools has been exempted from school duties. (25-03-2020)

GMERS Gotri will be utilised for Covid-19

The Gujarat government has decided to convert the GMERS Gotri hospital into infectious disease control hospital to handle patients in view of the Covid-19 situation. All the 250 beds at GMERS Gotri Hospital will be used for Covid-19 cases. SSG Hospital has 25 beds in the isolation ward. The Gotri hospital is being equipped to handle other suspected Covid-19 cases. There are 622 quarantine centres in Vadodara district. (25-03-2020)

Covid-19 testing facility started at SSG Hospital

The SSG Hospital in Vadodara will itself test samples of patients who are admitted in the hospital with suspicion of coronavirus or are treated as Covid-19 suspects. Earlier, samples of such patients were sent to Ahmedabad’s B J Medical College and Civil Hospital. Testing of samples has started from Monday morning. This decision will help in speedy diagnosis. (25-03-2020)

This is what the lockdown implies

The Gujarat government has put in place a stringent lockdown in the entire state from Tuesday till March 31. Essential commodities will be allowed to be available for the public. The state home department issued a notification under the provisions of 'The Indian Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897' and 'The Gujarat Epidemic Diseases COVID-19 Regulation 2020'. All the state's borders for transportation have been closed. Only essential services will be available: government and municipal corporations, municipalities, panchayat offices, stores selling milk, fruits, vegetables and medicines, hospitals and dispensaries, pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturers, research and development centres and other healthcare services, services like electricity, insurance companies, IT related services like ISP, cell phone companies, railways and transportation services, media and newspaper services, fuel pumps, water supply and sewerage, banks, ATM, clearing houses of banks, stock exchanges, Post and Courier services, private security services, warehouses of all edible goods and products, medicines, pest control and essential goods manufacturing, transportation and civil supplies, and E-Commerce related to it. All the other services and businesses and other activities have been banned. The police department has already imposed CrPC section 144 in most of the cities of the state, banning the gathering of four or more people at one place. The government has also closed down swimming pools, recreational clubs, water parks, marriage halls, all educational institutions. (24-03-2020)

Entire Gujarat under total lockdown till March 31

Late Monday evening it was announced that Gujarat will have a complete lockdown starting from Monday midnight. The lockdown will remain effective till March 31. Essential services will not get affected by the state-wide shutdown. The borders of Gujarat have also been sealed. The movement of vehicles has also been restricted. All vehicles will be checked and action will be taken against those found moving about unnecessarily. (23-03-2020)

Three-day lockdown is in place, all establishments closed

The three-day lockdown is in place and business and industrial establishment in and around Vadodara have come to a halt and will stay that way till March 25. This was discussed in a meeting on Sunday between Vadodara district collector Shalini Agrawal and business and industry association – Federation of Gujarat Industries (FGI), Vadodara Chambers of Commerce and Industries (VCCI), Ranoli GIDC Association, Makarpura GIDC Association, Savli GIDC Association, Waghodia GIDC Association, BITA and Exim Club. Wages of employees will not be deducted during the days of the lockdown. Pharmaceutical companies and other essential establishments will continue to function as usual. (23-03-2020)

Police tracking people with foreign travel history

Vadodara police are identifying all persons who returned from abroad in March and are currently living in the city. Crime branch and local police stations are preparing list of such people and others who were in contact with them. The objective is to advise such people to stay under self-quarantine. There have been instances where people have hidden their travel history, perhaps not realising that not only harm themselves but also those who are around them. The work of the police will become much easier if such people voluntarily come forward so that they can get into self-quarantine. Of course, if any persons purposely hide information or give false information then a criminal offence will be registered against them. (23-03-2020)

MS University suspends teaching activity till March 29

MS University has issued fresh directives that teaching, research and central assessment work on the university campus will remain suspended till March 29. However, there will be 50% presence of staff members by rotation. Deans of faculties, principals of constituent colleges, directors of institutions, heads of departments, coordinators of cells and centres, section heads, press manager, in-charge director of physical education, auditorium in-charge, university librarian and all concerned except chief warden, medical officer, cleaning agency supervisor and vigilance officer have been advised to depute 50 % of their teaching and non-teaching staff from class two, three and four on rotational basis at concerned offices till March 29. Appropriate and substantial steps will be taken to ensure cleanliness of buildings at faculties, colleges, institutions, departments, cells/centres, sections, press, pavilion, auditorium premises, library, etc. Cleanliness and sanitation will also be maintained at hostels, guesthouses, health centre, etc. (23-03-2020)

Lockdown in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara till March 25

The Gujarat government has announced a lockdown till March 25 of all establishments except those dealing in essentials like food and medicine in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara. A statement said that except those selling medicines, medical equipment, vegetables, groceries and other life essential commodities, all other shops and malls will remain closed till March 25. (22-03-2020)

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Baroda News Archive