The Maharashtra government has decided to enforce a 10-day lockdown in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad area starting 13 July. As the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state shows no signs of abating, Mumbai and Pune district are among the worst hit.
The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and a detailed order is yet to be released. However, it is understood that during the lockdown between 13-23 July, only essential services like pharmacies, milk shops and emergency services like doctors’ clinics will be allowed to remain open.
Out of a total of over 2.38 lakh COVID-19 cases in the state, over 35,200 cases and over 1000 deaths have been recorded in Pune district.
Lockdown has also been extended till 19 July in areas like Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali, Mira Bhayander and Mumbai. Thane city has recorded a total of 12,469 COVID-19 cases till date. On Friday, 10 July, 316 new cases were recorded.
Thane Additional Municipal Commissioner, Ganesh Deshmukh has clarified that that domestic helps working in Thane's housing societies will be allowed to work during the lockdown.
Business Owners Question Move
Speaking to The Quint, a few small-scale business owners questioned the need for a full lockdown in Pune. “I just started my shop after so many days. My business has not even caught up pace and now I have to lock it up again,” said a Pune-based shop owner.
The state government’s decision has also been criticised by BJP. Former state Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar took a dig at former State Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta, who is now an advisor to CM Uddhav Thackeray, over the lockdown.