May 28, 2021 8:09:25 pm
The Pune administration has decided to do away with “weekend lockdowns” imposed in the city in the wake of the rising coronavirus curve. The weekend lockdowns meant that all shops, including essential ones, remained closed on Saturdays and Sundays in the city.
State Health Minister Rajesh Tope, who chaired the Covid-19 review meeting on Friday, said the pandemic situation has improved considerably in Pune but the positivity rate and mortality still remains higher than the state average.
“Pune has a declining curve and the situation has improved satisfactorily. Cases have come down to 2,200-2,300 cases per day now, they had gone up to 29,000 a few weeks ago. But the positivity is still higher than the state average at 11.09 per cent and Case Fatality Rate is at 1.6 per cent,” said Tope.
The minister said that in the meeting, elected representatives and officers in the administration suggested that essential shops should be allowed to open during the weekends as it imposed hardships on the citizens as well as trades. “Considering the improvement, it’s been decided that restrictions on essential shops will be withdrawn for weekends in Pune. Now, essential shops can remain open between 7-11 am on weekends too,” said Tope.
He said that the decision regarding the ‘unlocking’ the state will be taken by the cabinet before the end of the month and after assessing situations in different districts the state government will bring out a notification giving guidelines to the collectors about what reliefs could be given in districts where infections are below a certain threshold.
He said that he has directed the administration to increase the proportion of institutional isolation in the district. “Presently, the proportion of home isolation of Covid-19 positive patients is 56 per cent in Pune. A few weeks ago, it was 80 per cent. We want it to go down to 25 -30 per cent. This will help in better care of the infected patients and reduction in the spread of infection,” said Tope.
He said that the government has made it clear that the treatment for mucormycosis or ‘black fungus’ in the state will be free. “There are some hospitals which are not empanelled under Mahatma Phule Jan Arogya Yojana. Also, there was an upper limit of Rs 1.5 lakh for the expenditure to be borne by the government. However, for this ailment, the government has decided to make an exception, we will bear all the expenses and will empanel those private hospitals which remain out of the net but are treating Mucormycosis,” said Tope.
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