Updated: May 18, 2020 12:18:28 pm
While the third phase of the nationwide lockdown ends on Sunday, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) plans to continue with its strategy of demarcating areas with most coronavirus cases as micro-containment zones.
The city has 69 containment zones right now, comprising about 3 per cent of its total area, while the lockdown norms have been relaxed in the remaining 97 per cent.
“Earlier, the number of Covid-19 patients in PMC areas doubled every five days… now it is doubling every 13 days. We are concentrating on improving this rate… in the next 15 days,” said Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad.
“The situation will be reviewed on Sunday or Monday. The containment zones will more or less remain the same… we may add some new areas and exclude older ones…,” he said.
Most of the new Covid-19 cases in the city being reported from containment zones, and fewer from non-containment zones, said Gaikwad. “Areas that report more Covid cases will be sealed and declared containment zones,” he added.
He said the PMC would wait for the guidelines of Union government and state government about the norms in the fourth phase of lockdown, which will start on Monday. “Lockdown is no longer an answer for the pandemic. The PMC would like to further relax norms in non-containment zones. In my opinion, private offices should be allowed to operate with 33 per cent staff and government offices with 100 per cent staff. Commercial establishments should also be reopened,” said Gaikwad.
He said the civic body’s aim was to dispel the fear of disease among local residents and enable return to normal life, but with precautions and certain changes in lifestyle to prevent further spread of the infection. “We have to live with this… but everyone needs to change their lifestyle and adopt best practices to avoid getting infected…,” said Gaikwad.
People will have to adopt certain habits such as not moving out of their houses or offices without necessary reasons, maintaining social distancing, using masks and always keeping their surroundings hygienic, he said.
In extremely congested areas such as slums, it was difficult to practice social distancing and ensure hygienic surroundings. “The PMC has constructed public toilets in these areas but the onus is on those using the toilets… they have to keep it clean instead of urging the civic body to do it,” said Gaikwad.
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