Amid COVID-19 outbreak, Panvel Municipal Corporation closes AMPC and non-veg markets till further order

Residents in the Panvel area will face a scarcity of vegetables and non-vegetarian items such as chicken and fish in the coming days. The Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to close all fruits and vegetable shops at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) outlet in Panvel and fish and chicken-mutton shops in Panvel Koliwada till further orders are given.

For the last fortnight, there has been a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the PMC area. Under the jurisdiction of PMC, around 80 to 90 positive cases are being reported almost every day.

As per the order issued on Monday evening, all shops in the Panvel APMC and in the Koliwada area will be closed till further order. “The primary conclusion is that most of the positive cases found are being linked to APMC and Koliwada shops,” said an official from the PMC. He added that after the easing of lockdown rules, more people are visiting these crowded areas, and this has added to the number of positive cases.

According to the official, there has been a spike in positive cases after the relaxation in lockdown. “We had already made wearing masks mandatory in public places,” said the official. He added that the local body had also sealed 32 shops for not maintaining social distancing norms.

Due to a sharp rise in cases, the opposition as well as a social organization had also demanded another lockdown in the area under PMC jurisdiction.

Pritam Mhatre, the opposition leader in the PMC had sent a letter to the municipal commissioner and demanded the imposition of a strict lockdown for eight days. Mhatre said that after relaxation in lockdown, people are coming out of their houses in huge numbers and that they can be seen at shops across the city.

Panvel Sangharsh Samiti (PSS), a social organization in Panvel had made a similar demand on Thursday. Kantilal Kadu, president of the PSS met Sudhakar Deshmukh, municipal commissioner of PMC, and demanded a strict lockdown in PMC’s jurisdiction for 15 days. “There is a need for a strict measure to contain the rise of corona positive cases,” said Kadu. He had added that the option of a strict lockdown can be explored.

The civic chief, Sudhakar Sonawane, had shot down any such plan. However, he said that the civic body would welcome it if citizens themselves implement the lockdown.

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