COVID Spike: Pune Shuts Down Schools & Colleges Again, Issues Fresh Curbs

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Pune: The Pune District administration has announced fresh restrictions in the wake of a spike in coronavirus cases in several parts of Maharashtra.

Among other fresh measures announced on Sunday, after a COVID-19 review meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and attended by the district health and administrative machinery, MPs and MLAs, are curbs on night-time movement, large gatherings, restaurants and bars.

“In Maharashtra, the positivity rate is going up. In Pune District it has gone up to 10 per cent whereas 15 days ago, it was only about 4.5 to 5 per cent. 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 in next three months the rate had become very high. To avoid this, we are taking some precautionary measures,” said Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao.

The following measures have been announced:

* Schools, colleges to remain closed till February 28; decision to be reviewed on Friday.

* Hotels, restaurants, bars to shut down at 11 pm (instead of 1.30 am).

* Limited curfew to be imposed between 11 pm and 6 am from February 22. People can step out of their homes only for essential work. Vegetable vendors, newspaper vendors and others involved in morning activities excluded.

* Private coaching classes will remain closed. Those providing coaching for civil services (MPSC/UPSC) will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity.

* Micro-containment zones to be identified at Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and rural areas.

* Permission from 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.

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