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As Covid-19 positivity dips to new low, PCMC extends shop timings, ease curbs

Essential shops can remain open throughout the week, while non-essential shops and malls can function till 8 pm. Restaurants and bars can stay open till 10 pm.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: August 9, 2021 7:57:13 pm
Maharashtra: Pune among 7 districts with weekly Covid positivity rate higher than state averageAt a Covid-19 testing centre in Pune. (Express file photo by Arul Horizon)

EVEN AS the Covid-19 positivity rate has dipped to a low of 3.74 per cent in Pimpri-Chinchwad, the civic administration on Monday issued directives, extending timing of shops and easing some curbs. The move follows the decision taken at a review meeting presided over by District Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday.

The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) health department officials said the positivity rate of 3.74 per cent by August 7 was lowest since the pandemic began in March last year.

“In last March, the positivity rate was 4.41 per cent, which shot up to over 25 per cent by August-September,” said the officials. “Similarly, this year in April-May, the positivity rate went beyond 25 per cent. In January, it had come down to around 6 per cent. In February, it shot up 11.72 per cent. In March, it went to 25.87 per cent and then in April, it reached the peak of 27.32 per cent. After this, the positivity rate began to fall. In May, it was 14 per cent, in June 5 per cent, in July 4.69 per cent. The second lowest was in April, 2020 when the positivity rate was 4.1 per cent. And now in the first week of August, the positivity rate has fallen to the 16-month low of 3.74 per cent,” the officials said.

Meanwhile, in his directives, Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil said, “All essential shops will remain full-time open throughout the week. Similarly, non-essential shops will remain open till 8 pm on all days with one weekly off day.”

The order said in shopping malls, only those who have taken both doses of the vaccine should be allowed. “Besides, they should carry the requisite certificate with them while entering the mall,” the order said, adding that all employees should undergo rapid antigen tests every 15 days. The shopping malls will remain open till 8 pm.

The order said restaurants, bars and food courts will be allowed to function on all days of week till 10 pm with 50 per cent seating capacity. “They will have to put up board at prominent place in their restaurants citing Covid-19 norms, issued by the PCMC,” it added.

The order also said, “All gardens will remain open on all days of week. Except for swimming pools, other indoor and outdoor sports activities can continue as usual.”

The civic chief directives said all gyms, spas, salon, beauty parlours and wellness centres will remain open till 8 pm with 50 per cent capacity and with prior appointment. “No air condition should be operated at this place,” the order said, adding that colleges and schools will remain shut till further orders. “Coaching classes can operate till 8 pm with 50 per cent capacity.”

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