Social distancing norms flouted as people gather outside Ahmedabad's Zydus Biotech Park to greet PM Modi

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a massive concern for the government, the people of India seem blithely oblivious to the dangers the virus presents, eschewing all precautionary measures. The latest entrants to the seemingly endless list of people violating COVID-19 norms come from Ahmedabad. With not many masks in sight, and barely any distance between each other, a group had gathered close to the Zydus Biotech Park to greet Prime Minister Modi.

Rather ironically, the PM had been there to review the vaccine development and manufacturing process. Visuals shared from his visit to Ahmedabad show the Prime Minister greeting a crowd gathered behind barricades in the distance, outside the Zydus Biotech Park, with uniformed officials standing by.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking stock of the efforts to create viable vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, visiting three cities to personally review the vaccine development process in the country. He had begun by inspecting the progress at the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, and will now visit the Serum Institute of India in Pune and Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad.

In recent days, Gujarat has seen a spike in cases, with the state government recently enforcing a night curfew in several states. While Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has denied rumours of a daytime curfew being imposed, it must be noted that he has urged people in several cities including Ahmedabad to strictly follow the COVID-19 protocols like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing norms. The latest set of COVID-19 guidelines has also enforced restrictions on the number of people who can gather for weddings, funerals and other community events.

According to reports, the Gujarat High Court has recently expressed its favour for a suggestion that those repeatedly not wearing masks and violating norms be made to take up community service at COVID-19 care centres. No final decision has been taken on this.

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