Pune: The ten-day-long strict lockdown will end today and Punekars are already curious about the 'unlock guidelines' to be released by the district and civic administration by late evening. The Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal are also expected to publish a revised list of containment zones in the cities.
Citizens have demanded that the barricading on main roads and the by-lanes should be removed as promptly as they were installed by the Pune police. Despite being a major cause of inconvenience for citizens, police had barricaded the roads almost 36 hours before the lockdown began.
Acting on instructions given by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in a review meeting held on July 10 at the Council Hall, District Collector Naval Kishor Ram, then Pune Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar had announced strict lockdown from July 14 to 23 in the cities and district areas.
However, the lockdown has not yet shown desired results as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the city. The fatality count has also increased in the past few days. The total active cases are now 16269 with 609 patients in critical conditions. Thus, the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations are expected to revise their containment zone lists before the unlock phase begins from Friday.
The 10-day lockdown period was split into two phases. The first phase was of five days in which only milk and medicine shops were allowed to remain open while all other shops including grocery, vegetables and meat were shut. After the first phase ended, the administration had given one-day relaxation to citizens by allowing all grocery, vegetable and meat shops to remain open from 8am to 6pm. The second phase of the lockdown began Monday (July 20) and is ending today evening.
Meanwhile, newly appointed Commissioner of Pune Municipal Corporation, Vikram Kumar held an important review meeting on Wednesday (July 22) to plan a new containment strategy. Officials who attended this meeting said that the revised guidelines and containment zone list will be declared latest by Thursday evening.