‘Single source’ Namaste Trump event responsible for alarming rise in COVID-19 deaths in Gujarat?


The COVID-19 death toll in Ahmedabad has alarmingly risen to 298 with the number of coronavirus deaths across Gujarat reaching 396. A news flash by PTI quoting health officials said that Gujarat reported 380 new COVID-19 cases and 28 deaths. Of these, 25 deaths in the last 24 hours were reported in Ahmedabad alone.

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With coronavirus situation spiralling out of control, the civic administration of Ahmedabad has decided to implement even harsher measures by closing all shops including those selling groceries, fruits and vegetables. Only ‘shops/parlours’ selling milk and medicines will remain open.

The worsening situation in Gujarat assumes significance since US President Trump had attended the much-publicised Namaste Trump event at the peak of the pandemic in Ahmedabad. Experts have argued that the Indian government ought to have cancelled the event in light of horrifying stories coming from China and various parts of Europe on coronavirus deaths.

Hundreds of thousands of people were mobilised to line up on both sides of the road to welcome Trump and his entourage. A crowd of over one lakh people had gathered at a stadium in Ahmedabad to listen to Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in late February, days before the latter enforced a nationwide lockdown.

Elsewhere, COVID-19 cases crossed 10,000-mark in Mumbai with 769 fresh cases being reported by health officials in the city. Mumbai also reported 25 new deaths, taking the death toll to 412.

Across Maharashtra, 34 COVID-19 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 651. Maharashtra is the bordering state of Gujarat, where Trump and Modi had engaged with hundreds of thousands of people in late February.

This has prompted many to take a dig at the government with many asking if the ‘single source’ Namaste Trump event will ever come under public scrutiny.