Unlock 2.0: Street food banned in Surat containment clusters

Just ahead of Unlock Phase II, beginning from July 1, Surat Municipal Commissioner Banchha Nidhi Pani has issued a notification banning all street food vending in the city’s containment clusters, including Varachha, Sarthana and Katargam areas.

Through another notification issued on Monday night, many of the diamond polishing units have been shut for a week.

Surat, on Monday, recorded the highest single day spike of 206 fresh COVID-19 cases. Since enforcement of ‘Unlock 1’, the number of infected persons in the Diamond City has been climbing at a steep rate. It has the second highest tally of coronavirus cases in Gujarat with 4,630 positive cases and 155 deaths.

The number of positive cases in hotspot Ahmedabad has been declining during the past fortnight, but Surat is emerging as the new hotspot with over 100 cases being registered during the past 10 days.

The major areas where the maximum positive cases have been found are Varachha, Sarthana, and Katargam which have been marked as containment clusters by the health authorities. These areas are dominated mostly by the diamond polishing businesses.

Alarmed by the situation, the Surat Municipal Commissioner on Monday night issued two notifications. According to one, all the street food vendors in Surat Municipal Corporation’s East zone A (Varachha), New East zone (Sardhana) and North zone (Katargam) and all the areas declared as containment clusters, have been banned.

Through another notification the Commissioner has declared an area in the North zone Katargam as a containment cluster and prohibited all the diamond units inside the cluster to function for a week. Eleven areas in Katargam have been identified and declared as clusters.

“Despite various guidelines issued by the central and state governments regarding COVID-19, it has been observed that in some of Surat’s diamond units, social distancing is not being maintained and mandatory wearing of masks is being flouted, resulting in the workers and staff of such diamond units and their families getting infected. This has resulted in increasing the virus outbreak in Surat” read the notification.

Katargam has reported the maximum number of positive cases and deaths due to coronavirus.