Home / News / India /  Pune: Lockdown possible if situation remains same, Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar hints

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has warned saying that "stringent decisions" would be taken if the coronavirus situation in the Pune district did not improve in a week.

Hinting that fresh lockdown can be imposed, Pawar, who is guardian minister for Pune, said the situation was becoming serious.

"If the situation (in terms of rise in cases) remains the same, we will have to take more stringent decisions in the district by the first week of April," Pawar added.

Asked why no fresh restrictions have been imposed yet though cases are increasing, Pawar said the previous experience was that people complain about not getting enough notice before restrictions come into effect.

"Suppose if we announce lockdown from today, many people would not be able to get food in the evening. By giving time, people will at least get some time to store groceries and vegetables. We want to make people mentally ready," he added.

The government also has to think of the poor who live from hand to mouth, Pawar said.

If Covid-19 guidelines are not followed by people, the administration will have to take some strict decision by April 2, he warned.

"For example, we have not imposed any new restrictions on hotels and restaurants. They are allowed to operate till 10 pm with 50% capacity. But if the situation remains the same, we will have no option but to close hotels and only parcel service will be allowed," he said.

Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol who attended the review meeting held by Pawar, said some decision about lockdown can be taken if things did not improve.

Pawar also said that a maximum of 50 persons will be permitted at weddings and 20 persons at funerals. Social and political events have been banned.

In view of the surge in infections, the state government has decided to take control of 50% of beds in private hospitals, he said.

"We have already started a jumbo hospital in Pune and a jumbo facility in Pimpri Chinchwad will be operational from April," said the deputy chief minister.

The number of beds at the Sassoon General Hospital has been increased to 500, he said, adding that an officer has been appointed to ensure that oxygen supply in hospitals remains uninterrupted.

"We are in talks with an oxygen plant in Raigad district in case we need additional supply," he said.

There are also plans to double the number of vaccination centres in the district, he said.

"We had a discussion with Union Minister Prakash Javadekar and we have sought additional vaccine doses for the district. He has agreed to look into the issue," Pawar said.

Meanwhile, Pune district reported 7,090 Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking its tally to 4,99,784, while the day also 37 deaths and 2,165 people getting discharged, an official said on Friday.

The toll in the district now stands at 9,761, he added.

Pune city accounted for 3,594 of the new cases, followed by 1,825 in Pimpri Chinchwad, the rest being in rural and cantonment areas, the official said.

The caseload in Pune city is 2,51,223, in Pimpri Chinchwad is 1,30,572 and in the rural and cantonment areas is 1,17,989, he said.

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