Devotees take photographs before immersion of Ganesh idol in an artificial tank by PMC at NDA Pashan road, Bavdhan in Pune, on September 1.(MILIND SAURKAR/HT)
Devotees take photographs before immersion of Ganesh idol in an artificial tank by PMC at NDA Pashan road, Bavdhan in Pune, on September 1.(MILIND SAURKAR/HT)

Pune sees rise in Covid cases during two-week Ganesh festivities

District reports 6,858 more cases during the 12-day festival as compared to the same period before.
Hindustan Times, Pune | By Steffy Thevar, Pune
UPDATED ON SEP 03, 2020 04:44 PM IST

While Pune is known for its lavish and traditional Ganesh celebrations every year, this year in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, government authorities urged people to stay indoors and even bid goodbye to bappa in a sombre way inside their homes. However, it was seen that people started coming out for festival shopping and some were even seen arguing with police officials at the riverbanks to carry out visarjan as usual. This lack of discipline form people could have led to a rise in the new cases that the city is seeing. As per the state health department, for every 1,000 new cases reported from the district 23 deaths are reported.

As per figures by the state health department, with the eleven-day celebrations, the district recorded 37,968 cases in 12 days between August 22 and September 2nd while in the same period of 12 days between August 10 and August 21, the district reported 31,110 cases which is 6,858 cases more during the festivities as compared to the weeks before.

While the police authorities and district administration had urged people to stay indoors and celebrate this year’s Ganesh Chaturthi in a simple way following social distancing norms and wearing masks, however it was seen across the city especially in peth areas that the jubilations continued.

State director of health services Dr Archana Patil said, “Due to increased movement among people after the lockdown was lifted and also Ganpati festivities, we saw crowded marketplaces and public areas which is what has led to an increased number of cases. It is true that we are observing people not following social distancing norms or not even wearing masks.”

The common crowded places were Shivaji road, Mandai and Bajirao road for shopping and during visarjan crowded roads included peth areas namely Kasba peth, Tambdi Jogeshwari and Tulsibaug.

On social media, photos of politicians including Pune mayor Murlidhar Mohol not wearing masks and surrounded by crowds were seen. Mohol recently tested his blood sample to donate plasma after he completely recovered of Covid-19 infection almost a month ago.

Pune police too have urged people to stay indoors but at many places including along the river or at prime shopping areas including Laxmi road and Tulsibaug where crowded streets were a common site during and before the festivities began.

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