14:33 GMT29 November 2020
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    On 14 November, India celebrated one of its biggest annual festivals – Diwali. The festive season not only brought more people out to the markets to shop and prepare for the celebrations, it also made for an opportunity for people to meet their friends and extended families, paving way for a rise in COVID-19 cases in many areas of the country.

    In the light of rising Covid-19 cases, a total curfew has been imposed in the Indian city of Ahmedabad, located in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat. The city had 2,845 active cases on Thursday.

    Only shops selling medicine and essential supplies will be permitted to remain open for two days starting Friday night until Monday morning.

    In a bid to check the surge in COVID-19 cases, Rajiv Kumar Gupta, who is in charge of the pandemic situation in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) also announced an indefinite night curfew starting tonight.

    ​While authorities in the city are trying to tackle the rising cases by keeping all schools, offices and shops closed for a while longer, netizens from the region are using humour as a defence mechanism to keep their spirits high.

    With thousands of mentions, #AhmedabadCurfew is trending on Twitter in India with hilarious memes contributing to the hashtag.

    ​Since the curfew begins tonight, the markets and streets of Ahmedabad on Friday morning have witnessed panic-buying as shoppers flocked to shops to stock their shelves before the mini-lockdown. 

    ​The city administration has also decided to include 1,300 more beds dedicated to Coronavirus patients,raising the city’s existing capacity to 8,800 beds.

    On 24 March, ​Prime Minister Modi had announced a strict nationwide lockdown aiming to control the spread of the pandemic in the country.  On 31 May, the Indian government began phasing out the lockdown rules under its "Unlock" scheme that has helped the country return to basic normalcy, especially economically.  

    Tags:
    COVID-19, SARS coronavirus, coronavirus, Diwali, Diwali, curfews, curfew, Curfew, curfew, Indians, India
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