Updated: May 11, 2021 11:00:19 pm
After the Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court recently expressed their appreciation for the manner in which the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has contained the Covid-19 situation in Mumbai, it was Pune’s turn to receive some praise, with the central government on Tuesday mentioning both the ‘Pune model’, along with the ‘Mumbai model’, as successful examples which had tackled the second wave of infections.
In a press statement, the union Health Ministry said the decentralised approach of the BMC in handling the case surge needed to be adopted at the national level. The Ministry also cited Pune as a ‘fine example’ of putting in place containment measures that worked. “The way in which Pune contained the upsurge of Covid-19 cases drew praise from the ministry, as a fine example that shows how containment measures can help restrict the spread of the disease,” read a press statement issued by the Press Information Bureau.
It stated that when Pune had seen a staggering 69.7 per cent case positivity rate in the first week of March this year, it had introduced measures like the night curfew, imposed from 11 pm to 6 am. This resulted in two things: reduction in growth trajectory of cases and reduction in the positivity rate, which came down to 41.8 per cent and further to 23.4 per cent.
“We observed that strict measures like restrictions on mass gatherings and intermingling of people, along with closing of non-essential activities for a period of 15 days, reduced the rate of growth in cases, and the cases started plateauing,” said Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal in the statement.
Incidentally, the BMC is ruled by the Shiv Sena while the PMC and the adjoining Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is ruled by the BJP. The city unit of the BJP had, however, strongly opposed the restrictions imposed by the district administration on the orders of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
Pune MP Girish Bapat, alongwith city BJP chief Jagdish Mulik, had staged a protest to oppose the shutting down of PMPML services. Later, BJP legislator Madhuri Misal and the local BJP unit had held a symbolic protest by opening a store of non-essential items in Parvati area.
After the Bombay High Court last week urged the state government to consider imposing a strict lockdown in Pune, the ruling BJP in PMC had urged the civic administration to file an affidavit in the court on the current Covid situation in the city, saying the information provided by state government in the court was “misleading”. “There is no need to introduce more stringent restrictions in the city as the Covid situation in the city is under control,” Mayor Murlidhar Mohol had said.
Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan said that any decision on imposing restrictions should be taken based on the opinion of health experts. “The Mayor has said that there is no need for a strict lockdown in the city. Any decision on it should be taken as per the opinion of experts or it will be kind of inviting trouble in future,” she said, adding that the health of local residents couldn’t be risked and the current rate of decline in active cases in the city was slow.
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