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Pune schools, colleges to remain shut till March 14 amid soaring Covid-19 cases

Updated on Feb 28, 2021 02:41 PM IST

The announcement comes a day after the lockdown in Maharashtra’s Amravati district was extended for another week till March 8.

A healthcare worker collects a swab sample of a woman to test for Covid-19 infection, in Bhiwandi. (HT FILE)
By | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Authorities in Maharashtra’s Pune have extended the closure of schools and colleges till March 14 in wake of the rising cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the city. District mayor Murlidhar Mohol also said people will not be allowed to be out on the streets between 11pm to 6am in Pune, ANI reported on Sunday.

The announcement comes a day after the lockdown in Maharashtra’s Amravati district was extended for another week till March 8. All shops, establishments, schools and colleges are closed in the district and only essential services are permitted to operate.

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“There won’t be any restrictions on the shop timings. Shops can remain open provided that they follow the Covid-19 protocol and restaurants/hotels timings will not change,” Saurabh Rao, Pune's divisional commissioner, had earlier told HT.

The Pune district reported 1,484 new Covid-19 cases and four deaths on Saturday, according to the state health department. This takes the district’s tally to 408,000 out of which 386,000 have recovered while 8,105 fatalities have been recorded.

An upsurge in cases in Maharashtra has forced several districts including Akola, Akot and Murjitapur, to go under a lockdown again. The resurgence was first reported from the Vidarbha region— Amravati, Yavatmal districts to be particular. But on Wednesday, Mumbai, which is far away from the Vidarbha districts of eastern Maharashtra, reported four-digit daily infections (1,167) — the highest since November 2020.

Several states have mandated people coming from Maharashtra and Kerala to carry negative Covid-19 reports. This comes as two states have been contributing most to the nation’s daily coronavirus caseload. Of the 16, 752 cases reported between Saturday and Sunday morning, 8,623 were from Maharashtra while Kerala recorded an increase of 3,792 cases.

As the state’s trajectory witnesses a steady upward trend, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed senior officials to take strict action against people or organisations who are found flouting Covid-19 guidelines. He also told municipalities in the state to spray disinfectant at public places regularly.

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