PUNE- Faced with an alarming spike in Covid-19 cases, authorities in Maharashtra’s Pune have ordered a 12-hour night curfew starting 6 pm tomorrow for a period of at least one week, 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.
On Thursday 8,011 new cases were reported. This was the second consecutive 24-hour period to cross that mark, after 8,605 – Pune’s biggest single-day spike – were detected on Wednesday.
As cases increase Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol, on Thursday, directed private hospitals to make 80 per cent of beds available for COVID-19 patients. However, Mr Mohol played down talk of a lockdown to slow the spread of the virus, saying there is “presently no serious need”.
“Instead testing, tracing and vaccination drives have to be increased,” he told news agency ANI, warning of stricter measures if the spike in cases could not be controlled soon.
Apart from Pune, state capital Mumbai has also seen a worrying spike in Covid cases. On Thursday Mumbai 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, where they say many are flouting rules by not wearing face masks or maintaining social distance.