Pune: Curfew timings extended; eateries, malls shut for a week
Eateries, bars, and restaurants in the Pune district of Maharashtra will remain shut for seven days starting April 3 in view of a substantial rise in coronavirus cases, a senior official said on Friday. Further, a curfew will be in place across the district from 6 pm to 6 am, and malls, cinema halls, and religious places will remain closed during this period.
Over 8,000 COVID-19 cases were reported for two consecutive days
The administration introduced these "stricter restrictions" in the district, which reported more than 8,000 COVID-19 cases in the past two consecutive days. The decision to impose these curbs was taken during a review meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday.
The new restrictions will commence from Saturday
"These new restrictions will be applicable for the next seven days from Saturday. As part of it, there will be a curfew from 6 pm to 6 am. Eateries, bars, and restaurants will remain closed, but home delivery of the food will continue," Pune divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao mentioned. Malls, cinema halls, religious places will remain closed for seven days from Saturday, he added.
All gatherings, except weddings and last rites, banned
Restrictions have also been imposed on gatherings. Except for weddings and last rite rituals, all other public gatherings have been banned in the district. Only 50 people are allowed to gather for a wedding and only 20 people can remain present for the last rites. Rao further said that essential services have been exempted from the 6 pm to 6 am curfew.
Public buses will remain off roads during this period
Buses of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML), the city's public transport system, will remain off roads for the next seven days, Rao said, adding that schools and colleges will remain closed till April 30. These decisions were taken due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, making the situation critical. Worryingly, the positivity rate of the district crossed 32 percent last week,
The situation will be reviewed after seven days
The situation will be reviewed after seven days and further decisions will be taken after that. According to Rao, efforts were on to increase the number of beds in hospitals in the district. "Since vaccination is the key to bringing down the impact of infection, the speed of giving vaccines will be increased in the coming days," he said.