Pune : Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to relax its stringent Covid-19 restrictions as the city is witnessing a sharp decline in daily Covid-19 cases, which is below 10 per cent at present. There has been a decrease in the number of active cases too and so, the weekend lockdown has also been withdrawn in the city.
All essential category shops are now allowed to remain open on all weekdays from 7 am to 11 am. Despite opposition from traders as well as the ruling BJP in the civic body, continuous surge in Covid-19 cases had led the administration to impose complete weekend lockdown in the second week of April.
Restrictions were further imposed across Maharashtra, but weekend lockdown was not in force. But later citing high positivity rate and increased number of active cases, the administration in Pune continued with weekend lockdown.
On Friday, the PMC decided to relax the complete weekend lockdown. Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar said, “The essential-category shops in the city will be allowed to remain open throughout the week from 7 am to 11 am.”
The essential-category shops include grocery stores, vegetable and fruit shops, dairies, bakeries, sweet shops and all other shops selling food items like meat, chicken, egg and seafood.
The PMC has also included optical shops and shops selling material related to monsoon in the essential category. The category also includes shops that sell agriculture items, including seeds, fertilisers and equipment and pet shops.
“Legislators, MPs and the PMC mayor were of the opinion that weekend lockdown should be removed and essential category stores should be allowed to open on all weekdays from 7 am to 11 am,” said State Health Minister Rajesh Tope earlier in the day, after taking review of the Covid situation in the district.