The 69 micro containment zones declared by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Sunday include two localities from the Kothrud-Bavdhan ward office area, which was not in an earlier list of highly infected areas.
“The inclusion of two localities from the Kothrud ward office area has been done as patients were found there recently. Though the number is less, considering the densely populated and congested area, it was necessary to include them in micro containment zones and seal them,” said Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad.
Micro containment zones are key to the PMC’s new strategy of concentrating resources in only the most affected pockets instead of expending time and manpower in a larger area.
The two localities are Kothrud Shivtara society survey no. 46 and survey no. 81, including Chandragupta Society Maharaj Complex. “It was possible to include the two localities in containment zones only due to the newly adopted strategy of creating micro zones for effective implementation of containment plan,” he said.
“The pockets in ward office…will help to control the spread in other areas of the same ward,” he added.
Meanwhile, ruling as well as opposition parties in the PMC have opposed and criticised the civic administration’s decision to relax the lockdown in the city. “I am against the lifting of lockdown. Residents had cooperated sincerely during the lockdown and extending it by two more weeks till May 17 would have further improved the situation and helped contain the spread,” said Mayor Murlidhar Mohol.
Mohol said he has conveyed his displeasure about the decision to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar while taking it up with the municipal commissioner, police commissioner and district collector.
Residents have already started crowding streets and this will create serious problems, Mohol added.
On Monday, residents in large number were crowding liquor shops, banks and non-essential commodity stores as they have been allowed to come outdoors from 7 am to 7 pm.
However, Gaikwad had said the lockdown cannot be kept in force for a long time. “The citizens have to adopt a new lifestyle of using masks, gloves and social distancing along with not going out unless in an emergency,” Gaikwad had said on Monday while justifying the easing of lockdown.