PIMPRI-CHINCHWAD MUNICIPAL Commissioner Shravan Hardikar has claimed that the 10-day lockdown has helped reduce the Covid-19 caseload by 7,000 cases. On Thursday, the civic chief issued orders allowing all essential and non-essential shops to operate from 9 am to 5 pm. For the past five days, only shops selling essential goods were allowed to operate from 8 am to noon.
Among non-essential shops allowed to function are salons, beauty parlours, and roadside mechanic workshops and two-wheeler and car dealers. Vegetable and cloth markets too have been allowed to operate on P1 and P2 basis, which means on even days, shops on one side of the road will be open and on odd days, shops on the other side. Civic grounds and gardens have also been opened.
Hotels and restaurants will continue with home delivery, as e-commerce and food delivery services have been allowed. Open playgrounds for individual sports will be allowed, and industries will continue to function as earlier while private offices and IT firms have been allowed to operate at 50 per cent strength.
Schools and colleges, shopping malls, and commercial complexes will continue to remain shut, along with gyms and swimming pools. Buses will also remain out of bounds.
The order stated that workers from containment zones will need civic permission to go to their workplace. Asked if the lockdown had helped, he said, “I think so… We have been able to reduce at least 7,000 positive cases because we stopped free movement and gatherings at marketplaces. We have been able to test, hospitalise, and isolate more people.”
Civic health officials, however, said in the last 13 days, over 6,000 positive cases were detected. From July 1 to 12, only 4,000 positive cases surfaced. “The reason for the spike is increased testing. We were doing less than 1,000 tests before the lockdown, which has now gone up to beyond 3,000,” he said.
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