Flu claims 8 in Gujarat as more districts impose Section 144

With eight more fatalities due to swine flu, the toll has reached 239 in Gujarat leading two more district collectors to invoke Section 144 (Unlawful Assembly) of the Criminal Procedure Code to prevent mass gatherings in order to curb swine flu infection, officials said here today.

PTI| Updated: Feb 25, 2015, 23:39 PM IST

Ahmedabad: With eight more fatalities due to swine flu, the toll has reached 239 in Gujarat leading two more district collectors to invoke Section 144 (Unlawful Assembly) of the Criminal Procedure Code to prevent mass gatherings in order to curb swine flu infection, officials said here today.

"Ahmedabad, Kutch, Patan, Gandhinagar, Sabarkantha, Morbi, Tapi and Botad registered a death in each district today while the total number of swine flu fatalities reached 239 since January this year," an official statement issued by the Gujarat state government said.

The state recorded 242 new cases swine flu cases, it said, adding, that the total number of cases have gone upto 3,769 from January this year.

In its statement, the Gujarat government also claimed that 2,341 patients who were infected with swine flu have been cured.

Meanwhile, after the Ahmedabad district administration imposed Section 144 prohibiting public gatherings without permission, two more districts in Gujarat including Rajkot and Bharuch also issued such notifications, invoking Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Today, Rajkot District Collector Manisha Chandra invoked Section 144 prohibiting mass gatherings without prior permission to prevent swine flu infection.

Her counterpart in Bharuch district Vikrant Pandey also issued a similar notification to prevent any public gatherings without prior permission.

Earlier, Ahmedabad District Collector Rajkumar Beniwal had invoked Section 144 yesterday to curb swine flu.

The neighbouring Mehsana district collectorate also issued a circular directing that permission to hold any mass gathering would be given after organisers assure that masks would be provided to each and every person.

"However, we have not invoked Section 144. We have merely issued a circular to our mamlatdars directing them to give permission to mass gatherings only after getting an assurance that the organiser will provide masks to every person attending," Mehsana Collector Lochan Sehara said.