Covid-19: No decision on resumption of offline classes at Pune schools yet, says Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar

Pawar said swimming pools and grounds will be open to sportspersons and people who have taken both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Tourist places such as Lonavala and Singhagad will be thrown open to limited number of visitors in order to sustain small business operating at these locations, said Pawar. (File)
Tourist places such as Lonavala and Singhagad will be thrown open to limited number of visitors in order to sustain small business operating at these locations, said Pawar. (File)

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday said no decision has been taken regarding resumption of physical classes at schools in Pune district as COVID-19 cases are on the rise.

After attending a meeting to review the COVID-19 situation in the district, Pawar said swimming pools and grounds will be open to sportspersons and people who have taken both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Apart from this, tourist places such as Lonavala and Singhagad will be thrown open to limited number of visitors in order to sustain small business operating at these locations, said Pawar, who is also the guardian minister of the district.

The police have been directed to keep a watch on the number of people gathering at tourist places and in case of crowding, further restrictions will be imposed, he said.

Bhimasahankar Temple and holy places that come under Ashtavinayak will be open for devotees, he said.

Considering the present rise in COVID-19 cases, no decision has been taken on the resumption of offline classes in schools and colleges. The situation will be further reviewed in the coming week, following which a decision will be taken, the minister said.

Talking about vaccination in the district, Pawar said, “Booster doses for people above the age of 60 will be available on Saturdays and Sundays, while vaccination for other age groups will be carried out on week days.” At least 51 per cent children in the age group of 15 to 18 years have been administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Pune district and 75 per cent have taken the dose in rural Pune, the minister said.

A meeting will be held with ZP officials and representative of the industrial areas about vaccination of workers, he said.

The minister further said that though the number of COVID-19 cases were increasing, only 1.5 per cent patients are being treated at hospitals.

“The number of people getting treated in hospitals are very less. The government hospital has plenty of space available and even the jumbo hospital is ready. Most patients are taking treatment at home,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Pawar inaugurated COVID-19 free village initiatives in Pune district started by Pune Zilla Parishad and Bhartiya Jain Sanghatana (BJS).

“Of 1,898 villages, 1,347 are yet to participate in the initiative. I have asked zilla parishad officials to motivate villages to participate. At least 44 villages in Pune district have remained COVID-19 free in the last two waves of the pandemic and majority of these villages are from Bhor division,” the minister said.

Officials have been asked to take this initiative to the other districts that come under Pune division, he said.

“I have asked Saurabh Rao, divisional commissioner of Pune Division, to implement this initiative in Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli and Solapur districts as well,” Pawar said.

Pune on Friday recorded 16,618 COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day addition so far, taking the overall tally in the district to 13,13,016, while 10 deaths increased the toll to 19,343. The district currently has 85,277 active cases, with 2,786 patients who are hospitalised.

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