The coronavirus positivity rates of Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad civic areas were on the decline and a decision has been taken to offer some relaxation in restrictions, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Friday. He was speaking to reporters after chairing a review meeting of the COVID-19 situation in the district.
“The positivity rate in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad is 5 per cent and less than 5 per cent respectively. So a decision was taken in today’s meeting to offer some relaxation in restrictions in these areas. However, in rural areas of the district, the rate is 12-13 per cent," Pawar said. Pawar said the authorities will wait for two days and implement the decision to offer relaxation in restrictions in the twin cities from Monday.
Pawar said he had asked officials to consider Pune and Khadki cantonments as part of Pune city while implementing the decision to offer relaxation from COVID-19 restrictions. He said decisions have been taken as per area and positivity rate, adding that places where the figure is above 10 per cent, the restrictions would remain in force.
On cabinet colleague Vijay Wadettiwar on Thursday announcing that restrictions would be lifted in 18 out of 36 districts, and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office refuting it some time later, Pawar said the issue was caused due to “miscommunication". The decision taken by the CM is the “final decision", the senior NCP leader added.
The deputy CM said some people had approached him requesting that ‘wari’, the annual pilgrimage to the holy town of Pandharpur which passes through Pune, Satara and Solapur districts, be allowed with a limited number of devotees. “I have asked the divisional commissioner to convene a meeting of officials from Pune, Satara and Solapur districts and submit a report. I will then talk to the CM who will take a final decision on this," Pawar said.