March 12, 2021 11:17:45 am
As Covid-19 cases continue to surge in Maharashtra, Pune could bring back restrictions on movement and assembly of people, though a Nagpur-like complete lockdown seems unlikely at this point.
A weekly review meeting on Friday, in which deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar participates in his role as guardian minister for the city, is likely to decide on further restrictions to be imposed in Pune.
On Thursday, Pune recorded more than 2,800 new cases, more than 12 per cent of all the positive cases detected in the country on the day. For the last several days now, Pune has been reporting more cases than any other city in the country.
Due to this, some restrictions have already been put in place. For example, classroom teachings in schools, colleges and coaching institutes in the Pune Municipal Corporation areas have been closed down. Non-essential travel between 11 pm and 6 am in the morning has been banned.
Also, containment zones were re-introduced this month, after a gap of two months, and already 100 micro-containment zones have been declared across the cities. Buildings with at least five active cases, and housing societies or localities with at least 20 active cases have been declared containment zones, where movement of people going in or coming out would be restricted.
All public gardens have already been shut down in Pimpri Chinchwad, and Pune mayor Murlidhar Mohol has said that the same thing could be done in the Pune Municipal Corporation areas as well. Restrictions on operation of gymnasiums, marriage halls and swimming pools are also expected.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had, on Thursday, warned that several places in the state were on the “threshold of a lockdown”, though he also said that this situation could still be avoided. On Thursday, Nagpur announced that it would go in for a week-long lockdown, starting March 15.
Meanwhile, traders in Pune have firmly opposed the possible re-imposition of lockdown in the city. Ajit Sethiya, coordinator of Western India CAIT (Confederation of All India Traders) said in case the government decided to impose a lockdown, traders should be paid monetary compensation.
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