Gandhinagar: Three deaths have been reported in Gujarat due to corona virus so far and the nu­m­ber of positive cases so far rose to 44 as the administration grappled with problems caused in the state by the 21-day national shutdown.

With a large mass of population forced indoors, and most public facilities shut down, ensuring essential supplies of daily use to homes has acquired gargantuan proportions. A core committee headed by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani is monitoring the situation.

The state has announced a month’s free supply of rations for the 65.40 lakh ration card holders of the state in April designed to take care of the needs of 3.25 crore population, official sources said.

So far three deaths have been reported, one each from Surat, Bhavnagar and Ahmedabad.

The latest death in Ahmedabad was that of an 85-year-old who had returned from a religious pilgrimage abroad. Admitted to the government civil hospital, the man had been on ventilator ever since.

The government also convened a meeting of representatives of super market chains and promised the necessary permits to enable them to make doorstep deliveries of provisions and even vegetables.In Surat, an alert has gone out asking over 5,000 people who visited Radhakrishna market to submit themselves to voluntary quarantine after a person working therein tested positive for the virus. While residents particularly in urban areas are grappling with shortages of essential items of daily consumption, the plight of labour is the worst.

Rendered without income they are reduced to a dismal state. Most are either construction workers left to fend for themselves by builders or small-time vendors hit by the shutdown.

Most are people from neighbouring states and now without money, food or transport are walking back from Ahmedabad to the borders of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Voluntary and charitable in­s­titutions are trying to m­ake available food packets en route.

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