Pune: Night curfew, stringent norms clamped as Covid surges (Ld)

Pune, April 2 (IANS) Amid a massive surge in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra’s cultural and IT capital, Pune, the district administration has come out with a ‘mini-lockdown’ style night curfew and other stringent norms for a week to control the spread of the virus.

This will include shutting down hotels, restaurants, bars, cinema halls and multiplexes, and extension of the night curfew hours from 8 pm-7 am to 6 pm-6 am, or 12 hours, starting Saturday.

The decision was taken on Friday at a high-level review meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, the Guardian Minister of Pune district with the local administration, civic, police and health officials attending.

It comes hours before Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is scheduled to address the state at 8.30 p.m. on Friday giving rise to speculation of a possible lockdown 2.0.

Later, Pune’s Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao informed that during this period, no public functions of any kind shall be permitted in the district, though 50 guests will be allowed for marriages and 20 mourners at funerals.

“While all bars, hotels and restaurants will be closed, they can undertake parcel/delivery services to customers’ homes,” he said, appealing to people to strictly adhere to all Covid protocols if they want to avoid a complete lockdown.

Similarly, all religious places shall be completely shut for the next week, as also all public bus services, and the situation would be again reviewed next Friday, Rao added.

The Pune district comprises areas of Pune city under Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), and the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PMPC), where over 8,000 new cases are being registered on a daily basis since earlier this week.

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