On Monday, Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said that stranded Indians returning to Pune from abroad under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ are directed to put under “institutional quarantine” at four city hotels, where they will have to pay for their stay during the quarantine period.
In the last few days, Mhaisekar said, 121 persons had come on the scene in the city from abroad and all of them were in isolation. He added that the travellers had returned to Pune from Singapore, Philippines and London, and 20 others had arrived at Sangli, Satara, Solapur and Kolhapur.
“According to the principles, all people who are coming to Pune from abroad are being placed in institutional quarantine compulsorily. Four different hotels are contracted for this purpose by the district collector. They will stay there strictly on payment basis and can be allowed to travel at the top of the 14-day quarantine period,” Mhaisekar said.
Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram stated that in the last few days, the daily test count had gone up by 25 per cent in the district and the increased tests were being conducted at hotspot areas in a targeted manner. He said that even though there had been a considerable escalation in a number of the test but the corresponding “positive detections” had not marked up in an identical manner, denoting stabilisation of the transmission of the disease.
“Earlier, we were testing about 800 samples per day. Now, we are testing a mean of 1,000 samples per day. However, the standard positive case count remains on the same level as before. This is a positive sign and that we are hopeful that in a while the curve will flatten, “Ram said.
The collector directed on Monday to put every arriving person from other states or districts through mandatory medical screening for Covid-19 symptoms.
“Every traveller from another district or state should be stopped at the check post at taluka boundary or village entrance and screened for Covid-19 symptoms. If they display any symptom, he or she goes to be stamped with ‘home quarantine’ and sent home,” Ram said.
Ram also said the administration was resolved to create a condition that was convenient for migrant workers to stay put in Pune.
“We have started industrial units in rural areas. Construction activities are resuming in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. Once employment opportunities open up, workers will plan to stay back. Today, in Daund, 300 to 400 people during a shelter home said they don’t want to visit their home states. There were about 40 to 50 others from Uttarakhand who didn’t board a train that left for his or her home state, opting to remain back and work. The same happened in Chakan. The mood is changing and it’ll change further,” Ram said.
Answering about Pune Police “unofficially” directing shops to close at noon despite the Pune Municipal Corporation and district administration granted them permission to open outlets from 7 am to 7 pm, District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said that the order issued by the PMC commissioner to allow shops open from morning to evening should be followed by the police.
“I have discussed this issue with the police which they need to tell us that in some areas, where social distancing norms weren’t being followed, that that they had to temporarily direct owners to close their shops. We are in touch with the commissioner and can discuss the difficulty further,” Ram said.