THE Ahmednagar district administration has imposed 10-day lockdown in 61 villages that have reported more than 10 new Covid-19 cases daily for the past few days. Schools will remain shut in these villages while everywhere else in the district, especially in urban areas, they reopened from Monday, said officials.
In an order issued on Monday, Ahmednagar District Collector Rajendra Bhosale said, “The district is witnessing 500-800 cases daily and the positivity rate is over 5 per cent. Therefore, directions were issued to implement precautionary measures in villages with more than 10 active cases. Since protocols were not being followed fully, we have imposed strict restrictions in 61 villages in 11 tehsils.”
As per the order, all shops — barring essential ones like medical stores, clinics and diagnostics labs — will remain shut from October 4 to October 13, while the assembly of more than five people has been prohibited in these villages, as well as curbs placed on entry and exit.
These villages are in Akole, Karjat, Kopargaon, Newasa, Parner, Pathardi, Rahata, Sangamner, Shevgaon, Shrigonda, and Srirampur tehsils, said Bhosale.
Lockdown has also been imposed in the temple town of Shirdi. Speaking to The Indian Express, a senior officer of the Ahmednagar Collectorate said, “We have started a lockdown in Shirdi since Sunday as the cases of Covid-19 are rising and this will be in force till October 14…’’.
But as the state government has decided to open all temples from October 7, the collectorate is doing a rethink on whether to open the Shri Saibaba Temple in Shirdi.
Meanwhile, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday instructed the Ahmednagar district administration to step up testing.
“There is a slight rise in Covid-19 cases in the district and we are monitoring the situation. District authorities have been instructed to step up testing and vaccination, apart from strictly following Covid-appropriate behaviour,” he said.
Chief Secretary S J Kunte and Additional Chief Secretary (health) Dr Pradeep Vyas also urged Collector Bhosale to take all possible steps to curb the increase in cases.
District Health Officer Dr Sandeep Sangle said, “Since past two to three months, we have been registering 500-600 cases…”.
Dr Sangle said while on September 28, 633 new Covid-19 cases were registered, within a week, on October 3, 367 cases were registered. “The graph has been on the decline,” he said.
He said there are a total of 3,722 Covid-19 cases in Ahmednagar while the recovery rate is 97 percent. A total of 3.36 lakh patients have recovered from the infection in the district. On an average, 15,000 to 18,000 tests are conducted daily.
Most of the Covid-19 cases have been registered in Sangamner and Parner talukas.
As for reports that patients from Ahmednagar were going to hospitals in Pune for treatment, Dr Sangle said, “We have no shortage of beds in hospitals in the district. We don’t have any information about many people seeking treatment in Pune.”
Regarding vaccinations, he said, “We have a target of inoculating a population of 37 lakh. So far, we have vaccinated 27 lakh people, of whom 21 lakh have received first doses…”.
Meanwhile, the state government has also urged Pune Collector Rajesh Deshmukh to keep a check on Covid-19 cases in the city and the district. Pune district currently has 8,839 active Covid-19 cases.
With inputs from ENS Mumbai & PTI
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