Maharashtra Covid-19 update: Restaurants, bars, malls to be shut for week in Pune

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April 03, 2021 1:00 AM

Deepak Garg, chairman, CII Pune Zonal Council, and MD of Sany Heavy Industry India, said the suspension of public bus services would impact MSMEs and their workers.

The industry bodies said it was difficult for smaller companies that did not have the resources to organise or hire vehicles to ferry employees.The industry bodies said it was difficult for smaller companies that did not have the resources to organise or hire vehicles to ferry employees.

A stringent 12-hour curfew between 6 pm and 6 am has been imposed across Pune district for seven days, starting on Saturday. The Pune district administration on Friday also announced that malls, bars, restaurant, cinema halls and bus services in Pune will be closed for the next seven days. Only home delivery of food will be allowed. All places of worship will also be shut.

There is no lockdown, however, and manufacturing industry and offices will continue to operate. Offices will be allowed to operate with 50% staff in attendance. Companies will have to organise transportation for their employees.

The decision to impose the curfew was taken after a review meeting between Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, the district administration and elected representatives of Pune.

Only essential services will be permitted during curfew hours. Barring funerals and weddings, no political, social or religious gathering will be permitted. Schools and colleges have been shut till April 30, but Class X and XII exams will go on as planned.

Divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao said a middle road had to be found to deal with the surge in Covid-19 cases and reduce the speed at which the virus was being transmitted. Pune has seen 8,000-plus cases for three consecutive days and a positivity rate of 32%. Health experts have warned that at this rate, Pune would have 9,000 daily cases in the next couple of days, Rao said.

The district reported 8,011 new cases on Friday with 65 deaths. The total Covid-19 death toll in Pune crossed the 10,000-mark and reached 10,039 on Friday morning. Going by last year’s experience, this wave is likely to last four to five weeks, Rao said.

Industry bodies — the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) and CII-Pune — were relieved that a full-blown lockdown was not announced.

MCCIA president and CMD of Pinnacle Industries Sudhir Mehta said, however, that the heightened uncertainty had unsettled inter-state and intra-state migrant labour and this was going to hurt the recovery process.

Deepak Garg, chairman, CII Pune Zonal Council, and MD of Sany Heavy Industry India, said the suspension of public bus services would impact MSMEs and their workers.

The industry bodies said it was difficult for smaller companies that did not have the resources to organise or hire vehicles to ferry employees.

CII-Pune and MCCIA have said closing bus services will also affect hospital staff and citizens travelling for vaccination. They have appealed to the central government to open up vaccination for everyone above the age of 18, and to prioritise places like Pune that are among the most affected by the pandemic.

Apart from imposing these restrictions, the administration’s focus will be on bed management, hospital management and ramping up vaccination to one lakh per day. The district administration was also working on increasing hospital beds to reach the peak levels of 2020 by April 5, Rao said.

The jumbo Covid-19 hospitals in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad are running at full capacity and unused ventilators in parts of the district are being diverted to Pune city. Around 525 beds were added on Thursday and Friday and another 250 beds will be added by next week.

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