PUNE

Mayor rules out lockdown in Pune: Not wise at this point, but more restrictions needed

While the state government has indicated that another lockdown may be considered in certain parts of Maharashtra to contain the spread of coronavirus, Mayor Murlidhar Mohol on Tuesday came out against such a move for Pune, which is among the cities worst hit by the viral infection.

“The Covid-19 situation in the city is well under control. I am of the opinion that it will not be wise to go for complete lockdown at present. The number of patients is increasing but it would not be practical to have a lockdown in the city,” said Mohol.

He said a study undertaken by Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) has recommended that there should be strict implementation of restrictions instead of complete lockdown as a measure to contain the spread of the virus.

In the present scenario, Mohol said, “The situation can be tackled on three fronts by strengthening health facilities for treatment of patients, along with increasing testing and scaling up vaccination in the city, while introducing more restrictions.”

There should be discussions on increasing restrictions and strict implementation instead of complete lockdown, he said.

State Health Minister Rajesh Tope had recently indicated that lockdown may be considered in some cities that are witnessing rapid spread of the viral infection. Pune currently has over 24,000 active Covid-19 cases, 4,000 more than the peak of last year, and has been registering a daily positivity rate of over 20 per cent in the last few days.

The increasing number of Covid-19 patients has prompted the PMC to restart the jumbo Covid hospital on CoEP ground and set up Covid Care Centres (CCC) in different parts of the city. It has also directed private hospitals to increase the bed capacity for treatment of Covid-19 patients after reports about shortage of beds.

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Schools, colleges and private coaching classes in the city have been closed, and private offices are allowed to operate only with 50 percent staff.

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