On Friday, officials announced a complete lockdown would soon be enforced in various parts of Maharashtra. Amid rising COVID-19 cases, several parts of the state had been under lockdown till July 10. Now, several areas have once again announced a complete lockdown.
This includes Pune where the lockdown will be in two phases. Complete lockdown is announced for Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and some parts of Rural Pune from July 13 to July 23, said Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar on Friday.
"22 villages have been identified in rural parts of Pune district where this lockdown will be implemented. Apart from Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad area, containment zones these villages will be added," Naval Kishore Ram, Pune district collector added.
There will also be a lockdown in the Thane district. The Thane Municipal Corporation has decided to extend the existing lockdown till July 19. This also includes the areas under the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation wherein the existing lockdown has been extended till July 19. All the rules will be the same as the previous lockdown order.
Speaking about the new phase of lockdown, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar drew a parallel with England. "They've also imposed lockdown again. Sometimes when people don't follow rules, some decisions like this (lockdown) have to be taken. When cases increase at some places, such decision is taken," he said.
Pawar also urged people to stock up on essentials before the lockdown began. "People must purchase essentials within the next two days because after that only essential services will be open. If we have to break the chain then we must ensure that there no contact among people," he said.
As with other lockdowns, this time around too, people flocked to the stores to stock up before they were shut down. But while one would think grocery stores and the like would see long queues (and in all likelihood they did), at least for some people, the priorities seemed to be very clear.
Abandoning all social distancing norms, tipplers gathered outside liquor shops in Pune, following the announcement of lockdown. Photographs of the same were shared by news agency ANI.