NEW DELHI :
Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani says his government should not be judged by the large number of covid cases or deaths that have placed his state among the most affected in India. Rather, it should be judged by its response to what is a global pandemic, he said in an interview .
“The novel coronavirus pandemic has enveloped the entire world today. In such a scenario, it is not correct to judge any administration based on the numbers."
“Rather, one should focus on the response of the administration in handling the pandemic...It is unfortunate that over 1,400 people have succumbed to covid-19 in Gujarat...I am happy to share that we are in a comfortable position today with a recovery rate of 69%, which is one of the highest in India," Rupani said.
Gujarat, with 5,886 active cases, 16,664 recovered cases and 1,505 deaths as on Tuesday, is one of the four hardest hit states in the country, along with Maharashtra, Delhi and Tamil Nadu.
Rupani said going by an analysis done by the state government, most deaths in Gujarat have occurred among the aged, those suffering from co-morbid conditions and those admitted to hospital when they were critically ill.
“We have to adopt an aggressive testing strategy for symptomatic patients as per the ICMR guidelines and provide them quality healthcare, especially those in critical stage of infection, and those with co-morbid conditions, for a fast-paced recovery," said Rupani.
“The life of each and every citizen is equally important for us. And even today, my administration is on its toes to identify and treat patients in order to curb the crisis as early as possible," he added.
The problems faced by migrant workers, which caused an exodus from Gujarat, were distressing, Rupani said, adding that they wanted to go to their native states to meet their family members.
The chief minister said his government operated more than 1,000 Shramik trains in coordination with the Indian Railways and the concerned state governments to send more than 1.45 million workers back home.
“Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of Gujarat’s economy. There are around 32 lakh (3.2 million) MSME units within the state. At present, more than 80% of these units are operational. As many as 30 lakh (3 million) labourers have resumed their duties and the present power consumption by the industrial sector stands at 7,500 MW (which is 85% of the normal power consumption). I am confident that the labourers will soon return to their second home–Gujarat," Rupani said.
He said the pandemic had affected developed nations across the globe and crippled their economies, and that this had also affected India and Gujarat. He said economic activity will resume and industrial operations will reopen work opportunities in the state.
Talking about the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat, which have become a prestige battle between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, the chief minister said the main Opposition party lacked leadership and vision, because of which people had rejected it in the last two general elections and for two decades in Gujarat.
“If MLAs from the Congress party are resigning, Congress should introspect rather than playing the blame game. The Congress is not in a position to save their own house and the people of Gujarat are well aware of this," Rupani added.