Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani had realised that the state was heading for some unusual times.
Even before the national lockdown came into effect, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani had realised that the state was heading for some unusual times. This was reflected in one of his early decisions after the virus raised its head in the state, converting Ahmedabad’s new 1,200-bed civil hospital into an exclusive COVID-19 facility. Several other dedicated facilities were later created in Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot. A three-pronged strategy, augmentation of the health infrastructure, priority to preventive measures and maintenance of food supplies, was chalked out to counter the onslaught of COVID-19. As the lockdown was announced, a fourth area of action was identified, sensitisation of the police to handle this unique situation.
The sincere administrator that he is, Rupani did not want to depend only on brute force to maintain order. To calm the jittery nerves of the people, he requested the managing director of dairy cooperative Amul, R.S. Sodhi, to make a public announcement that there would be no shortage of milk. Similar announcements were made about other essential items, which went a long way in reducing panic buying and hoarding. Also, to keep rumours and fake news at bay, the chief minister has ensured that four press conferences are held daily to update the people on the crisis.