They had earlier opposed the restrictions clamped by the government and demanded to allow the opening of their shops
Maharashtra reported 51,751 new Covid-19 cases and 258 deaths in the last 24 hours
Amid an alarming upsurge in Covid-19 cases across Maharashtra, an unbrella organisation of traders in Pune has decided to extend support to the state government if it imposes a complete lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
The Federation of Traders Association (FTA), Pune, took the decision after a detailed meeting of its representatives with senior government officials from Pune district as well as the civic administration, its president said.
"The decision was taken after considering the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the city and rural parts of the district, one of the worst-hit in the country," said federation president Fatehchand Ranka.
He said it has been learnt that the state government is going to take a decision about the lockdown in the next two days.
"If the state government imposes a full lockdown, on behalf of 40,000 traders in the city (represented by the federation), I want to assure the state government that to solve this crisis, we are with you," said Ranka.
"However, if the government imposes a half lockdown we will have to take a different decision," he added.
The FTA chief said imposition of a "mini lockdown" did not lead to reduction in movement of people and crowding in the city.
Ranka appealed to other traders' bodies to also keep their establishments closed till the government takes a decision about the lockdown.
The organisation had earlier held protests against restrictions clamped by the government and demanded to allow the opening of their shops.
Traders were miffed over closure of non-essential shops as part of the curbs.
A police case was registered against Ranka and 55 other traders for forming a 'human chain' in Pune to protest the lockdown-like restrictions, which they said, adversely affected their businesses.
Decision on Maharashtra lockdown
As the state authorities mull a complete lockdown amid infections reaching record high, Maharashtra minister Aslam Shaikh told news agency ANI on Monday that the the people will get enough time to prepare if such a decision is implemented.
"The state government is making a fool-proof plan on what needs to be allowed and for how many days, during the lockdown. This will give sufficient time to people if they want to move somewhere or come here and prepare them mentally, ahead of lockdown," Sheikh informed.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday held a crucial meeting with the state's Covid-19 task force to discuss measures, including imposition of a lockdown in the state.
"Duration of the lockdown and how to handle its economic fallout was discussed during today's meeting. The task force is of the view that the prevailing coronavirus situation in the state is such that a lockdown is required," the minister said.
Cases in Maharashtra
Maharashtra reported 51,751 new Covid-19 cases and 258 deaths in the last 24 hours, the state health department informed on Monday evening.
According to the state health department, 52,312 people have recovered from the disease. The active number of cases in the state stands at 5,64,746, while the death toll has gone up to 58,245.
Mumbai reported 6,905 new Covid-19 cases and 43 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total count of cases to 5,27,119. With 9,037 more recoveries, the total number of recoveries has gone up to 4,23,678. The city has 90,267 active cases currently.
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