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Pune announces night curfew, schools and colleges to remain shut till Feb 28

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

In view of the rising COVID-19 cases, the Pune District administration has announced fresh restrictions on night-time movement, large gatherings and operations of restaurants and bars.

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A COVID-19 review meeting was chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday morning, where the district health and administrative machinery participated. Several Members of Parliament (MP) and Legislative Assembly (MLAs) participated in the meeting as well. After the meeting, Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao held a press conference to announce the decisions taken in the meeting.

“In Maharashtra, the positivity rate is going up. In Pune District it has gone up to 10 per cent. 15 days ago, the positivity rate was only about 4.5 to 5 per cent. It has grown fast. Considering the fact that last year, we had seen a similar trend where the positivity rate had grown from 2 to 4 per cent to 10 per cent in first few months and then for in next three months the rate had become very high. To avoid this, we are taking some precautionary measures” said Rao.

The educational institutions have been ordered to remain shut till February 28. The hotels, restaurants and wedding venues are allowed to operate only till 11 pm, an order said.

There will be restrictions on people’s movement from 11 pm-6 am. People will only be allowed to step out only essential work. Those indulged in essential activities like newspaper distribution, vegetable vendors are excluded from the curbs.

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Private coaching classes will remain shut. Those providing coaching for civil services (MPSC/UPSC) will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity. Micro-containment zones will be identified in Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and rural areas. No curb on inter-district transport but travellers and transport agencies have been asked to follow COVID guidelines. Prior permission from the police mandatory for marriage functions. Single window system to be set up at police headquarters/stations to avoid trouble for citizens. More than 200 persons won’t be allowed. Similar curbs on political, religious or any other gathering as well.

Some Vidarbha districts, along with Mumbai and Pune have witnessed a spike in Covid-19 cases over the past few days. The Vidarbha region in Maharashtra has witnessed a rise in daily coronavirus cases recently.

The six districts of Akola, Amravati, Yavatmal, Buldana, Wardha and Nagpur in Vidarbha have reported a steady rise in coronavirus cases. Two districts where cases have surged are Mumbai and Pune, though this could be due to migration and not maintaining Covid-19 protocols, experts have said.

The spike in coronavirus cases in Maharashtra have raised concerns among the state authorities as well as the Centre. The Union Health Ministry has issued a word of caution for five states that are witnessing the spike and called for more testing to check the virus spread.

The State Health Department on Saturday informed that 6,281 new COVID-19 cases and 40 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

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The total cases in the state increased to 20,93,913 including 48,439 active cases and 19,92,530 total recoveries. The death count in the state mounted to 51,753 including the new deaths, the state department said.

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