AS CORONAVIRUS positive cases continue to increase in number, the entire city, comprising Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), has been declared as a containment zone with boundaries sealed off.
Shekhar Gaikwad, PMC Commissioner, said the number of coronavirus positive patients is increasing in the city, which is a serious concern. “Out of 15 ward office areas in PMC, 13 have recorded a rapid rise in cases despite lockdown. So, it is necessary to bring in strict restrictions on movement,” he said.
Considering the increasing number of cases across country, Gaikwad said a further increase in positive cases in the city could not be ruled out and it was necessary to bring in restrictions for a few days.
“The entire PMC jurisdiction is being declared as a containment zone. Only state and civic machinery will be operational to ensure emergency services related to health and law and order. So, the civic boundaries are being sealed from tonight and local police will seal the respective areas,” Gaikwad said.
The municipal commissioner said, “The sealing orders will be in place till April 27 and no person will be allowed to enter or leave the civic jurisdiction.”
The only exception will be for those involved in supply of essential commodities and emergency services. Shops selling essential commodities will remain open for a limited time, as per police directions.
The police and civic staff working for containment are exempt from restrictions. The on-duty staff of government offices and the PMC can also commute during the period but only 10 per cent staff should be on duty and the PMC will issue passes in this regard.
In-charges of ward offices have been empowered to take legal action against citizens moving in the open without any reason, Gaikwad said.
A senior Pune City Police officer said following the PMC’s intimation about sealing the borders of the area under the civic body, a conditional curfew will be imposed in the entire city jurisdiction, similar to what has been enforced in many parts of the city for over 10 days.
The officer added that a separate order of the Pune City Police jurisdiction was expected to be issued and deliberations were on about the timings in which shops selling essential commodities will be open.
Entry and exit from this area will only be allowed in case of an emergency. All entry-exit points will barricaded with police deployment. People can only step out for a specific window daily when shops selling essential commodities will be open. Police can shut down shops in case there is crowding at a shop or non-adherence to social distancing norms.
All establishments which will be open have to follow social distancing norms and shopkeepers have to use masks, gloves and hand sanitisers. Police may change the curfew relaxation timings if needed.
(WITH INPUTS FROM MANOJ MORE)
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