While in Amravati division, the terms night curfew and lockdown were used by authorities to describe the strict, September-like curbs that in some cities there shut down almost everything except essential services, Pune authorities called the steps in the district as being “precautionary” and said there was no cause for alarm. Restrictions were also increased in Nagpur district, where over 500 cases were reported for the sixth consecutive day.
The number of cases in Nagpur district this week (February 15-21) was close to the number registered in the second week of August. In Nagpur city, guardian minister Nitin Raut is likely to announce a night curfew from 11pm to 6am and closure of commercial markets for one day in a week on Monday. Pune divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao said all schools, colleges and private coaching centres would remain closed in Pune district till February 28 and announced that only “limited movement” would be allowed on streets from 11pm to 6am from Monday.
He said there were no restrictions on inter-district travel. On the night-time curbs, Rao said people were expected to avoid non-essential travel. “We are consciously not using the word ‘night curfew’ as there will not be any restriction on essential services such as newspaper deliveries, milk and vegetable supply and travel to hospitals for medical emergencies,” Rao said following a review meeting. “Coaching centres will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity,” Rao said.
Bars and restaurants would have to close at 11pm. No wedding ceremony, political or social event would be allowed without a no-objection certificate from the police. Attendance at these events is limited to 200 people. Amravati guardian minister Yashomati Thakur addressed a press meet to announce the lockdown in Amravati and Achalpur cities and very restricted business in other parts of the district. Shops, educational institutions, cinema halls, gyms and parks will remain shut, while cultural, religious and other gatherings will not be permitted.
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