(Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP)

Mumbai: In a never-ending saga, two fresh coronavirus cases have been reported, taking the toll in Maharashtra to 33. Both patients had travel history and have bee quarantined at the hospital in Pune and Aurangabad, respectively.

The Aurangabad lady is 59-year-old who had travelled to Russia and Kazakhstan. The other positive case is that of a 31-year-old male in Pimpri Chinchwad who travel to Dubai and Japan between February 23 and March 3.

He is in quarantine at Naidu hospital in Pune. Earlier, on Saturday, five positive cases were reported in Pimpri Chichwad.

The Pune district administration is shocked over the spike in cases in the jurisdiction of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations. The number of patients in Pune district alone is 16.

What is causing concern is that one patient was part of a 93-member group which had travelled to Thailand. The Pune district administration is now worried about the fate of the other 92 members of the group and is trying to trace them.

This was revealed by Pune Divisional Commissioner Dr Deepak Mhaisekar on Sunday noon.  ‘‘What is worrying is that of the five positive cases reported, four are from Pune and they had not gone out of India.

They are all part of one family and, therefore, greater care is required,’’ he noted. He admitted that ‘‘these cases indicate local transmission.”

SECTION 144: Mhaisekar insists that the administration has swung into action. ‘‘The administration has asked the Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad police commissioner to invoke section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code prohibiting the gathering of more than four people and also clamp down on activities which lead to congregations. Public parks have been closed and students staying in hostels have been asked to stay put till exams are over,’’ he noted.

Pune district collector Naval Kishore Ram said schools, colleges, public parks, cinema theatres and gymnasiums in Pune have been shut down and malls have been served notices to remain closed till March 31.

He however, clarified that only those stores selling medicines, food or vegetables inside the malls will be allowed to function.

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Free Press Journal