The combined metropolitan area of Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad was declared a containment zone late Sunday and sealed till April 27, making the twin cities with a total population of over 7.5 million the first in India to be entirely locked down.
The move came a day after Maharashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar announced the stricter implementation of lockdown measures in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad for the next eight days, beginning Monday, following a meeting with the Pune’s divisional commissioner and other senior district and police officials.
Areas with a concentration of COVID-19 cases have been declared containment zones across states, but no city barring Pune has so far been sealed in its entirety.
With all border entry and exit points in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad sealed, the movement of even vehicles exempted from the order will be controlled. The exemption list includes essential goods transport and services.
Thirteen of the 15 civic wards in Pune had been classified as “red zones” since April 10 and the other two as “orange zones”. The Pune Municipal Corporation will conduct an extensive COVID-19 screening drive in the entire sealed area over the next eight days. There will be restrictions on business hours of shops, banks, and other establishments. Pune police will issue an order mentioning the timings on Monday morning, sources said.
In Pimpri Chinchwad, municipal commissioner Shravan Hardikar said employees and vehicles of the municipal corporation, police and state and central government departments involved in COVID-19 prevention are exempted from the order along with essential services.
All banks must keep their branches open on weekdays from 10 am to 2 pm. ATMs must be functional, too.
Retail sale of milk, vegetables, fruits will be allowed from 10 am to 2 pm at designated places. Home delivery of vegetables and fruits will be allowed only after obtaining prior permission from the civic body. All hospitals, dispensaries, clinics and medicine stores will function normally.
Source : TOI