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Pune unlock guidelines: Decision on extending shop timings and further relaxations to be announced today, says Ajit Pawar

Pune lockdown guidelines: Pawar said he will discuss the issue with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other colleagues on Monday, when an announcement regarding this will be made.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: July 26, 2021 11:51:45 am
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar inaugurating a mobile oxygen plant. (Express Photo)

Pune district may see additional relaxations in Covid restrictions next week onwards as an unanimous decision to extend shop timings till 7 pm and allowing markets to open on weekends have been taken by the administration and elected representatives, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Saturday.

He said he will discuss the issue with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other colleagues on Monday, when an announcement regarding this will be made.

The Covid positivity rates in all three jurisdictions of Pune district have dropped with Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) recording a weekly positivity rate of 3.9 per cent, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) recording 5 per cent and rural areas and those under municipal councils recording 5.4 per cent.

“In today’s meeting, it was unanimously decided that shop closure timings should be extended till 7 pm and markets should be allowed to operate on weekends. I will discuss this with the CM and other colleagues in the cabinet and a positive decision regarding this will be taken,” said Pawar, who inaugurated an accurate gauging mobile oxygen plant in Pune on Saturday.

Thackeray also held a meeting of the Covid task force on Saturday to discuss revising restriction levels across the state, said Pawar.

The guardian minister said the district administration in Pune has done thorough planning about how to tackle a possible third wave of infections, learning from the experiences of countries such as Iran, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Spain, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

“We are creating a capacity to have enough oxygen-enabled beds and ventilator-enabled beds. Compared to the needs in the first wave, we are preparing three times more beds so that citizens will not be left wanting for hospital beds in case the third wave hits us,” said Pawar.

“It’s being said that the third wave may start by the end of August. We are hoping that it won’t happen at all but all of us need to take precautions,” said Pawar.

On Friday, 1,144 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in the district, of which 250 were found in PMC areas, 151 in PCMC areas and 646 in rural areas.

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