Post-Ganesh fest surge has Pune civic admin sounding ‘stay home’ alarm for Navratri

According to Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao, the average caseload in the city this week has come down to 1,500 from an earlier 1,900, during the first two weeks of September, when the spread of the virus was being attributed to the Ganesh festival
Due to cases rising between September 1 and September 17, the city’s positivity rate, which was at 20 percent in the first week of August, touched 30 per cent.(REUTERS/REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)
Due to cases rising between September 1 and September 17, the city’s positivity rate, which was at 20 percent in the first week of August, touched 30 per cent.(REUTERS/REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 30, 2020 04:08 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Pune | ByAbhay Khairnar

A surge of Covid-19-positive cases in the city after the Ganesh Festival earlier this month now has the civic administration worried about the upcoming

According to Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao, the average caseload in the city this week has come down to 1,500 from an earlier 1,900, during the first two weeks of September, when the spread of the virus was being attributed to the Ganesh festival.

Due to cases rising between September 1 and September 17, the city’s positivity rate, which was at 20 percent in the first week of August, touched 30 per cent.

“Pune city, parts of the district and Pimpri-Chinchwad saw a Covid-19 surge after the festival. During the first two weeks, PMC areas reported, on average, 1,900 positive cases daily. Now that has dropped to 1,500 per day. Experts are hoping it will drop further, but the main challenge in front of us is now the Navratri festival,” said Rao, who, along with municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar and district collector Rajesh Deshmukh held a joint online press conference on Tuesday.

To avoid a the repeat of the post-Ganesh festival scenario, PMC commissioner Vikram Kumar warned citizens not to step out of their homes unnecessarily. The warning came even as the Maharashtra government asked for the Navratri and Dussehra festivals to be celebrated in a low-key manner.

The government has also prohibited dandiya, which attracts a large number of revellers for all nine days of Navratri.

“If citizens do not follow the guidelines and instructions given by the government, again there will be a surge,” said Kumar.

According to Rao, with cases coming down, the city’s positivity ratio this week is at 24%.

“I would like to appeal sincerely to citizens to follow the guidelines and celebrate Navratri at home only. If people do not roam, we will be able to bring down the numbers, otherwise there will be a surge again, putting pressure on medical manpower and the administration,” said Rao.

Vikram Kumar said, “During the Ganesh festival, people visited each other and travelled to nearby places. Immediately after the festival, positive cases increased in the city.”

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