Strict lockdown imposed in Nagpur as Covid-19 cases continue to rise
On the first of the week-long lockdown in Nagpur, the district reported 2,297 fresh Covid-19 cases and 12 deaths on Monday. Nagpur is the first city to go under lockdown in the second Covid wave, which is sweeping many parts of the country. Nagpur saw more than 2,200 cases for the third consecutive day on Monday, making it the biggest Covid-19 hot spot in Maharashtra.
While the lockdown was aimed at keeping people indoors, many citizens ventured out citing various reasons. City police were out to implement stringent restrictions, and a few instances of people and police entering into an argument were reported.
However, the number of people outside their homes reduced by after with stringent implementation of lockdown. “There will be very effective implementation of Covid curbs. We will not spare anyone violating Covid-19 norms,” said police commissioner Amitesh Kumar, who oversaw the implementation of lockdown since early on Monday. Kumar and his deputies from various zones were out on the streets to supervise the implementation of lockdown.
Barricades were set up in all busy streets in the city and police were monitoring traffic movement. Vehicles were stopped to inquire why they ventured out.
Announcing the lockdown, guardian minister for Nagpur district, Nitin Raut said it was imperative to impose the strict lockdown as cases were on the rise for the past week. Raut said, “Swab samples have been sent for genome sequencing to check whether there is any mutation in coronavirus in the district.” He also asked the district task force to study reasons behind the sudden spike in cases.
He also made it clear that if cases continue to increase, the lockdown would be extended with stricter restrictions.
On the first of lockdown on Monday, streets bore a deserted look. Schools, colleges, gyms and private offices remained closed while government offices were functioning with 25% strength. Essential services including medical shops, vegetable and grocery shops were allowed to function.
It is for the first time that active cases in the district are higher than Mumbai and Thane, which are mass urban areas with bigger population as compared to Nagpur.
The district administration has, however, made it clear that the ongoing lockdown would not affect the vaccination drive in its 128 centres across the city. It has allowed people to accompany those getting vaccine. The administration has also appealed to social organisations, non-government organisations to come forward to help senior citizens reach vaccination centres.
In view of rising Covid-19 cases in the district, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court has started hearing cases through video-conferencing from Monday and it will continue till March 21, according to a notice issued by the court registrar.
Meanwhile, various traders’ bodies met Raut to register their objection to imposing lockdown till March 21. Citing that businesses were severely hit during the lockdown, traders said a fresh lockdown would come as a huge blow to them.