Lockdown returns to Pune

Political leaders across parties have been demanding it. Now the state government, which was resisting it, has relented and it’s back to lockdown for Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and 22 adjoining villages from the midnight of July 13 to 23.

The decision was taken after a meeting was held by the deputy chief minister and Pune’s guardian minister, Ajit Pawar on Friday. Attended by former chief secretary and present advisor to the chief minister, Ajoy Mehta, Pune divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar, district collector Naval Kishor Ram, commissioner of Pune Municipal Corporation Shekhar Gaikwad and his counterpart in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation Shravan Hardikar, besides other senior officials, all took stock of spiking numbers of COVID-19 cases and their inability to strike a balance between keeping businesses open in the interest of economic recuperation and battling the pandemic. “The lockdown has been announced to break the chain in the spread of the virus,” explained Mhaisekar.

In the meeting, Pawar expressed concern over the rising cases in Pune district, which are more compared to some of the states in the country. Explaining the need to revert to lockdown at a time when rest of the country has moved into Unlock 1.0, Ram pointed out, “After relaxation was given, it was observed that some people were not following the rules required to contain the spread of COVID-19. They are unnecessarily crowding public places, which is resulting in increasing the cases. Under the circumstances, lockdown seemed like the only recourse to break the chain of the virus.”

While the lockdown has been announced, the administration is yet to work out the modalities of imposing it. “We’ve decided the period of the lockdown but are still working on the details such as what will be restricted. The first five days will see a stricter imposition and we will allow some other services to resume subsequently. We will announce the detailed plan on Saturday,” Gaikwad informed. The strict lockdown from the midnight of July 13 to July 18, will only allow the supply of medicines and milk, keeping all other services closed.

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