Impose lockdown in Gujarat to curb COVID-19 spread: IMA tells High Court

AHMEDABAD:┬áThe Gujarat government should impose a two-week lockdown in the state to check the spread of COVID-19, the IMA’s state branch suggested in its submission to the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday.

If the state government is not in favour of a lockdown, then it should think of restricting various activities to control people’s movement outside their homes, the Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) Gujarat chapter president Dr Devendra Patel told the HC.

He made the suggestions before a division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bhargav Karia during an online hearing on a PIL taken up suo motu (on its own) on the overall coronavirus situation in the state.

The bench had invited Patel to share his views on behalf of doctors.

Around 30,000 doctors from Gujarat are members of the IMA’s state branch.

“The government should completely ban all kind of gatherings, be it social, political or religious. If possible, the government should impose a total lockdown for 14 days. If it is not possible, then put severe restrictions on activities,” Patel told the bench.

He also suggested that the government should come up with a centralised system displaying availability of beds (for COVID-19 patients) in the state, saying “people are rushing from one hospital to another for beds”.

Responding to the suggestions, government pleader Manisha Shah said taking a decision about imposing a lockdown is akin to “walking on the edge of sword”.

She said the state government was committed to save both “lives and livelihood”.

The bench posted the PIL for further hearing on April 27.