March 27, 2021 2:45:50 am
AT A meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday, it was decided that no additional restrictions will be imposed but those already in place will be implemented strictly. Schools and colleges will now be shut till April 30.
Pawar said the decision regarding the imposition of lockdown in the district will be made in the next meeting scheduled for April 2.
“Next Friday, we will decide if we have to go into another lockdown. We are not in favour of lockdown, but the way the situation is worsening, I have received inputs from the medical fraternity as well as public representatives that such a decision may be required if cases don’t go down in the next five to six days.”
The Covid-19 infection has spread at a fast rate in the district in the last few weeks with approximately 7,000 new patients testing positive every day. The positivity rate in the district is 24.7 per cent, up from 9 per cent in February.
Pawar directed the district collector to conduct another review meeting on April 2 and a decision regarding additional restrictions will be made depending on the situation.
At the meeting, which was attended by senior bureaucrats and elected representatives from the district, it was debated where these additional restrictions should be put, especially with respect to establishments such as restaurants and bars, public gardens, function halls and amenities such as public toilets. It was also discussed if schools and colleges that, as per an earlier decision, were to remain shut until March 31, should remain so for some more weeks. It was decided that the situation already in effect will continue till April 1.
Pawar said examinations of Classes X and XII will be held despite schools and colleges being closed till April 30. “But the school education department will have to take all precautions while conducting these important exams. We don’t want to postpone them,” Pawar said.
“I urge people that if they do not want a stringent lockdown in the city, they should follow rules and take precautions. Otherwise, we will be forced to make the decision pertaining to lockdown on April 2,” he said.
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About the operation of restaurants and bars, he said the restrictions were already in place (10 pm for dine in, 11 pm for food delivery, 50 per cent capacity). “But if the situation worsens, we will be forced to shut dine-in services completely on April 2,” he said.
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