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School and Colleges shut in Pune, a week-long lockdown imposed

Pune: It’s been a few days that schools and colleges in Pune have resumed physical classes after a long gap of 11 months. The local district administration has once again announced all educational institutions to shut till February 28. 

This decision has been taken as a precautionary measure as Covid 19 cases are increasing again at a very fast pace. 

On Sunday, in a review meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit, the Pune district administration announced restrictions on the movement of people at night, large gatherings, restaurants, and bars along with shutting down of schools and colleges.

Moreover, Amravati Guardian Minister Yashomati Thakur said, “certain city areas in Amravati, Akola and Buldhana districts will go under lockdown for a week from Tuesday”.

After the meeting, where state Labour Minister Dilip Walse Patil, MPs Girish Bapat, Shrirang Barne, Vandana Chavan, and Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol were also present. Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said, “The positivity rate is going up. In the Pune district, it has gone up to 10 percent. Two weeks ago, the positivity rate was only about 4.5 to 5 percent. It has grown fast. Last year, we had seen a similar trend where the positivity rate had grown from 2 to 4 percent to 10 percent in the first few months, and then for the next three months, the rate had become very high. To avoid this, we are taking some precautionary measures.” 

Rao added that in Pune the positivity rate has gone up since February 1 even after remaining under control between September 15 and January 31. He said that it has been decided to shut down schools and colleges until February 28, though the decision will be reviewed during the next meeting scheduled for February 26, and hotels, restaurants, and bars are also being directed to close at 11 pm instead of 1.30 am as per prevailing guidelines.

‘Limited curfew’ will be imposed between 11 pm and 6 am from Monday. People can step out of their homes only for essential work. Vegetable vendors, newspaper vendors only, and other morning activities will be excluded.

Shutting of colleges will also ask private coaching classes to shut down. However, those providing coaching for civil services (MPSC/UPSC) will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity only. 

The police forces have been asked to strictly implement the regulations about social gatherings and functions. And the focus has been directed on ‘hotspot areas’.

No decision has been taken to curb inter-district transport. Though Public transportation has also been suspended between 5 am on February 23  to 5 am on March 1, while private vehicles have been allowed only for unavoidable journeys, like health check-ups, hospitalization, or travel outside the city.

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Ravisha Poddar
the authorRavisha Poddar
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