Late Thursday night Pune authorities confirmed 8,011 new coronavirus cases had been detected – the second consecutive day with over 8,000 new cases
Faced with an alarming spike in Covid cases, authorities in Maharashtra’s Pune have ordered a 12-hour curfew starting 6 am tomorrow for a period of at least one week, with a review scheduled for next Friday.
Religious places, hotels and bars, shopping malls, and movie theatres will all remain closed for the next seven days, Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said Friday afternoon.
Only home deliveries of food, medicines and other essential services will be allowed in this period.
Pune is among the worst-affected areas in India as a result of a renewed wave of infections.
Late Thursday night Pune authorities confirmed 8,011 new coronavirus cases had been detected, pushing the total caseload to nearly 5.5 lakh. This was the second consecutive 24-hour period in which Pune reported over 8,000 new cases.
On Wednesday, the district reported 8,605 new cases – its biggest single-day spike ever since the pandemic began in December 2019.
“Of the total number of new cases, 4,103 were reported from the areas located within the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits, where the caseload has gone up to 2,73,446,” officials said.
Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol has directed private hospitals to make 80 per cent of beds available for COVID-19 patients.
“Presently, there is no serious need of imposing lockdown. Instead testing, tracing and vaccination drives have to be increased, which we are doing already,” he told news agency ANI. The Mayor, however, warned that if the spike could not be controlled soon, stricter measures, including a lockdown, may follow.
Apart from Pune, state capital Mumbai has also seen a worrying spike in Covid cases.
On Thursday the city reported 8,646 new cases – the highest ever in a 24-hour period. Mumbai authorities have also stepped up measures to control the spread of the virus, including conducting random Covid tests on people in public places like malls and bus stations.
Like her Pune counterpart, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar is hesitant about re-imposing a city-wide lockdown, but warned that “some strict measures will have to be taken”.
“Nobody wants lockdown but keeping in mind the manner in which cases are rising and creating pressure on the health infrastructure, some strict measures will have to be taken,” she said.
Cases have been increasing across Maharashtra – the worst-affected state – as well. Over 43,000 new cases were reported in 24 hours, the state government said on Thursday night.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is to address the state at 8.30 pm.
With input from ANI