In view of the increasing COVID-19 positive cases in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, the municipal commissioners of the Pune and the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation on Sunday ordered to seal all areas within their limits for the next seven days.
In their directives issued under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and the Disaster Management Act, 2005, PMC Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad and PCMC Commissioner Sharavan Hardikar declared the civic bodies as ‘containment zones’.
Mr. Gaikwad said as 13 of the 15 wards under the PMC had COVID-19 positive cases, the entire area under the civic body would be sealed from Sunday midnight till April 27.
“As positive cases are rising daily, there is a potential threat to the life of the city’s residents and hence, there is a pressing need to limit the movement of people. From now, only the police and the vehicles engaged in dispensing essential services will be allowed on the streets. Besides civic body staff, government offices will be operating with only 10% of their strength,” the order said.
Shops selling essential goods will be open only between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in both areas.
Pune district’s tally has soared to more than 630 cases, with 50 deaths being reported — 49 of these from Pune and one from Pimpri-Chinchwad.
Mr. Hardikar justified the need for more stringent lockdown measures on grounds to prevent spread of the contagion from the Pune city areas, where the maximum cases have been reported thus far.
“Given the rise in the number of positive cases, there is a possibility of community transmission of the novel coronavirus. We need to completely stop the movement of people. Furthermore, there will be no relaxation from April 20 for resuming businesses, including the IT sector,” Mr. Hardikar said.
Authorities from the Pune’s Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) at Gultekdi — the main wholesale market of the city — have already announced that the APMC will remain shut for a further eight days owing to the surging cases.
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