Mumbai

Coronavirus | No move yet to impose Section 144 in Pune

Passengers wearing protective masks arrive at the international airport in Mumbai.

Passengers wearing protective masks arrive at the international airport in Mumbai.   | Photo Credit: Mitesh Bhuvad

No restriction on movement even if provision were imposed, says Pune Divisional Commissioner

Clarifying that there was no move as yet to impose Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in its totality in Pune district to curb the spread of COVID-19, district authorities said on Monday the police would only investigate those people under Section 144 (1) who flouted the administration’s orders.

Also read: Coronavirus live updates | March 16, 2020

“People relate Section 144 with curfew and think its imposition will bring all movement to a standstill. Nothing of that sort has been invoked till now. A purely administrative order under Section 144 (1), which empowers the district police to investigate all those found violating guidelines issued by the administration to check the spread of COVID-19,” Pune District Colelctor Naval Kishore Ram told The Hindu.

 

Pune Divisional Commissioner Dr. Deepak Mhaisekar said that while the district administration was mulling imposing Section 144 in Pune, there would be no restriction on people’s movements even if this was implemented.

“We have been discussing with police authorities on the necessity of imposing certain parts of Section 144 of the CrPC in the city if the need arises. However, there will be no restriction on movement if these are imposed. Certain restrictions are already in place to check the spread of COVID-19. If needed, further restrictions will be added and action will be taken accordingly,” said Dr. Mhaisekar.

Mr. Ram said the administration had issued an advisory directing all IT companies to permit their employees to work from home.

“As a proactive step, we are enforcing all kinds of social distancing measures. We have already closed schools and colleges, gyms, malls and even museums and have appealed to all IT firms and private companies to allow their employees to work from home wherever possible as these social distancing measures are extremely important at this stage to contain the spread of the virus,” he said.

 

Dr. Mhaisekar said the Pune Municipal Corporation had formed 125 teams and the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation had constituted another 50 teams to conduct home surveillance on COVID-19 suspects across the twin cities. “Till date, 15,803 homes have been successfully covered and 52,714 people have been surveyed thus far,” he said.

Dr. Mhaisekar said there had been only one positive case in the two cities in the last 24 hours, and the administration had already begun tracking the contacts of the 31-year-old man who tested positive on Sunday. He had a travel history to Abu Dhabi and Tokyo.

Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have 16 positive patients so far. “Samples of 28 people had been sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, in the past few days, of which 27 had proved to be negative. As of now, we are awaiting reports on 59 suspected cases,” he said, adding that the condition of all 16 patients was stable.

He said from now, passengers coming from Dubai, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. will also be placed under institutional quarantine in addition to those coming from the seven most affected countries showing symptoms of COVID-19.

“From a total of 99 passengers who arrived in Pune on international flights on Sunday, seven thought they had coronavirus-like symptoms. We have referred them to Naidu Infectious Disease Hospital. One of these passengers had stayed in Germany for two months, so we have placed him in institutional quarantine,” said Dr. Mhaisekar.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:11:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/coronavirus-no-move-yet-to-impose-section-144-in-pune/article31084358.ece

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