Civic authorities in Ahmedabad on Wednesday ordered the closure of all shops except those selling milk and medicines for a week. Even shops selling groceries, fruits and vegetables will be closed.

Ahmedabad has so far reported 4,425 Covid-19 cases and 273 deaths. The Covid-19 death rate in the city is 6.1%, almost double the national average of around 3.3%, unidentified officials told PTI.

Six companies from the Border Security Force and one company from the Central Industrial Security Force have been deployed in Gujarat to enforce the lockdown, Director General of Gujarat Police Shivanand Jha said, according to The Times of India. Five of these companies will be in Ahmedabad.

According to an order signed by Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Mukesh Kumar, the shops will remain closed from May 7 till 6 am on May 15. The decision was taken after a high-level meeting to review the Covid-19 situation in the city.

“All shops/parlours shall be closed except providing only milk and medicines. All shops/vendors shall be closed providing fruits, vegetables and groceries,” the order issued by the municipal commissioner read.

The civic authorities have also banned the home delivery of all items except milk and medicines, stating that delivery executives could cause the spread of infection. “Super spreaders like those working in shops like vegetables, fruits, grocery, provisions and ice-cream parlours and people engaged in home delivery of these items as well as Swiggy, Zomato, Dominos etc. become a potent source of infection for many,” Additional Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar Gupta said in a notice.

“Therefore, in the entire AMC [Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation] area, all shops and home delivery services except milk and medicine shall remain closed for next 7 days starting from May 7, 6 AM.”

Earlier in the day, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani requested Union Home Minister Amit Shah to send a team of medical experts to the city, PTI reported. Unidentified officials told the news agency that three senior doctors from Mumbai and Delhi are likely to visit the city on the chief minister’s request.

On Tuesday, civic authorities in Mumbai, another city with a huge number of Covid-19 cases, had revoked permission for liquor shops and stores selling non-essential items as physical distancing norms were flouted.

India’s coronavirus tally rose to 49,391 on Wednesday morning and the country recorded 1,694 fatalities, according to figures from the health ministry.

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