In Swine Flu-Hit Ahmedabad, Large Public Gatherings Prohibited

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Ahmedabad:  The administration in Ahmedabad has prohibited large public gatherings without prior approval in wake of drastic rise in reported cases of swine flu. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code or CrPC has been invoked which prohibits large assembly of people. Ahmedabad has reported as many as 100 fresh cases in the last 24 hours. While the city has seen an overall 60 per cent rise in swine flu cases in the last one week, more than 1000 cases have been reported from across Gujarat.

“Since there has been drastic increase in the number of swine flu cases, no public gathering would be allowed without prior permission. Only wedding and funeral processions are exempted but safety guidelines will have to be ensured even for those,” says Rajkumar Beniwal, Ahmedabad District Collector.

The organizers of weddings and funerals have been instructed to ensure distribution of free masks at the entrance of the venue besides paying detailed attention to sanitation measures.

The district administration has also issued advisories to multiplexes and theaters to asking them to encourage visitors to use masks. “We will soon have counters where masks would be provided. We are also planning to put up banners and distribute pamphlets to increase awareness and encourage people to wear masks,” says Rakesh Patel, owner of Wide Angle Multiplex.

In view of the directives from the government several city events have been postponed or cancelled. Many schools have also postponed annual day functions.

These preventive measures by the authorities have attracted come under criticism by a few. “You cannot stop people from coming out. Increase the awareness levels, ensure there is timely treatment and more importantly ensure adequate attending doctors and medicine supply,” says Dhruti Shah, a city college student.

Experts believe that a dip in cases is only expected by first week of March.

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