Coronavirus outbreak: Chandrapur fails 1-day lockdown relaxation

Updated: 08 April, 2020 07:30 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

The collector, who had proposed slight easing of the lockdown, withdrew his orders within 24 hours owing to the chaos

Police have been stopping and questioning everyone found riding bikes or driving cars without passes on the roads in Mumbai. Pic/Ashish Raje
Police have been stopping and questioning everyone found riding bikes or driving cars without passes on the roads in Mumbai. Pic/Ashish Raje

Chandrapur district collector Dr Kunal Khemnar's decision of providing some more services to the public during the lockdown was withdrawn within hours of it being announced owing to unruly crowds.

Dr Khemnar on Monday issued a circular announcing a change in the timings for operating shops selling essential commodities and in addition threw open the shops of mobile/telecom, electronic/electric sales and repairing, hardware, stationary, general goods and clothing/hosiery on specific days for a particular time window. The purpose was to allow people to access more services.

However, the very first day witnessed a mad rush in Chandrapur city and other towns, leaving the administration and healthcare officials worried. The officer, therefore, withdrew the circular within 24 hours, putting the previous restrictions in place till April 14.

"I'm withdrawing the order I issued on April 6 after reviewing people's response and feedback from the administration. People did not follow social distancing norms," Dr Khemnar informed mid-day in a video message. He said the telecom, electrical/electronic repairing vendors have been urged to deliver their services at the doorsteps of the people who call them. The district and local administration have circulated the phone numbers of service providers.

The collector's initiative received a mixed response from senior bureaucrats. Some said the move was premature at this stage, but some appreciated the young officer for at least trying it, considering the response would come handy in deciding over the lockdown in the future.

Eastern Pune sealed
With the outbreak intensifying in Pune, the eastern part of the city was sealed on Tuesday. A total of 37 positive COVID-19 cases are from this area. Pedestrians are being apprehended and vehicles moving without purpose seized on the spot in this zone.

Pune has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state after Mumbai where hotspots are being sealed ahead of the lockdown expiry date.

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First Published: 08 April, 2020 07:15 IST

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