Doctors working hours have increased three-fold -- what was once an eight-hour shift has become a 24-hour loop. (Rerpresentational image)
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to seal off the central and densely-populated parts of the city, from Gultekdi Maharshinagar to the RTO office and Kondhwa area, after some of these areas reported a high number of coronavirus patients.
The Gultekdi Maharishinagar area is part of Bhavani Peth, the area worst hit, with 28 of the total 98 positive patients from here. Kondhwa ward office has reported nine positive patients.
"We are gradually monitoring the situation in this area. The number of infected persons in this area is 37 and rising. So, we have decided to seal the area from midnight," said PMC Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad.
The area is very congested, and the locality from Maharishinagar to RTO office includes mainly peth areas. "The localities are very close to each other and overlapping. Thus, they need to be sealed," said Gaikwad.
He said the city police will barricade the entire place and movement to and from the area will be completely stopped. "Except for emergency services, no person will be able to enter or leave the area," Gaikwad said, adding that this will continue till further orders.
Restrictions will be imposed on residents of the area and it will be compulsory for everyone to wear masks, he said.
However, operations of the city's main market, the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee's wholesale market, will remain unaffected.
Gaikwad said the civic body was monitoring other areas and if a high number of patients were reported from other areas, those would be sealed too. "I want to appeal to citizens to not move out of their houses," he said.
A senior police officer said, "As per a communication from the PMC, the entry and exit points of the designated area will be closed and adequate deployment will be made at fixed points within the area. The purpose of sealing a particular area is to contain the spread of the infection. Accordingly, areas of defined radius are designated as containment zones till there are instructions to ease the restriction. Entry, exit and movement of people within the area will be restricted to only emergency purposes."
Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said considering the spikein the number of patients in the city in a day, some additional measures will be implemented, a final decision on which will be taken on Tuesday.