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Section 144 in Pune? District Admin Mulls Prohibitory Orders to Check Coronavirus Spread

File photo of medical staff at Naidu Hospital, in Pune. (Image: PTI)

File photo of medical staff at Naidu Hospital, in Pune. (Image: PTI)

Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said the administration has decided to change its strategy to control the spread of the coronavirus in view of the rising number of cases.

Pune: The district administration is mulling imposition of the Section 144 of the CrPC in Pune to check the spread of novel coronavirus, a senior official said here on Sunday.

Addressing reporters, Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said the administration has decided to change its strategy to control the spread of the coronavirus in view of the rising number of cases, which stood at 16 in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad as on Sunday.

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) authorises the Executive Magistrate of any state or territory to issue an order to prohibit the assembly of four or more people in an area.

At least four cases in Pune are the "first contacts" as they had not travelled to foreign countries, said the divisional commissioner. He said no positive case was reported from Satara, Sangli, Solapur and Kolhapur districts.

The Maharashtra government has already imposed the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, to provide for the better prevention of the spread of dangerous epidemic diseases.

"District collectors and municipal commissioner have been empowered to control the virus. Collectors will take preventive measures in their respective districts. We are providing them adequate number of masks and medicines," he said.

District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said strict action will be taken against those who are found boycotting families of the patients affected with novel coronavirus.

"Such act is shameful for a city like Pune. I have ordered officials to take strict action against such people," he said.

Meanwhile, Pune Zilla Parishad Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Ayush Prasad said that a portal-Integrated Data Surveillance Program (IDSP) has been launched to gather real-time data of coronavirus patients in the dedicated control room.

The IDSP is developed by the MKCL, a Government of Maharashtra enterprises, he said.