Four cases in Pimpri-Chinchwad without travel history worrisome, says Pune Divisional Commissioner

The patients in Pimpri-Chinchwad contracted infection from relatives.

Updated - March 16, 2020 02:50 am IST

Published - March 16, 2020 02:17 am IST - Pune

Taking precautions:  Residents are wary of stepping out without protective masks and and face coverings, at a market in Pimpri-Chinchwad on Sunday.

Taking precautions: Residents are wary of stepping out without protective masks and and face coverings, at a market in Pimpri-Chinchwad on Sunday.

The man from Pimpri-Chinchwad who tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday is the sixth positive case in the township within a 24-hour span. Three women and two men had tested positive for the infection on Saturday.

The six are among the nine people to test positive thus far in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation limits. Besides, seven people have tested positive in the Pune Municipal Corporation limits so far.

The man who was found to be infected on Sunday has a travel history to Japan. Pune Divisional Commissioner Dr. Deepak Mhaisekar said his swab sample was sent for testing on March 14.

Dr. Mhaisekar said “it is worrisome” that four of the five Pimpri-Chinchwad patients from Saturday had no history of foreign travel and had contracted the infection from their relatives who had travelled abroad.

The fifth patient had gone to Thailand with 93 others, and the authorities are tracking the other members of the group.

Urging people not to step out of their homes needlessly, Dr. Mhaisekar said the district administration was mulling over imposing Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in certain places in the city to discourage assembly.

He said that at present, 57 patients are in isolation at Naidu Infectious Disease Hospital. “Till date, we have sent 315 samples to the National Institute of Virology for testing. We have thus far received the reports of 294 samples, of which 16 have tested positive while the remaining have tested negative. The results of 21 samples are awaited,” he said.

He added that 16 patients have been discharged so far.

Urging people to avoid travel, mass gatherings and social engagements, Dr. Mhaisekar said that after the order to shut malls on Saturday, open parks in the city will also be closed.

“We are adopting a two-prong strategy to check the spread of the virus. One, of course, is to strictly enforce home isolation, and the second to try and prevent mass gatherings in public places. Since [Saturday], we have already closed down malls. However, I want to make it clear that medicine shops and groceries located in malls will remain open,” he said. He said institutes cannot force students to evacuate hostels until they had appeared for their examinations.

Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said there had been complaints of residents in housing societies harassing people who had been asked to self-quarantine.

“Henceforth, anyone attempting to give trouble to any foreign-returned individuals who have been asked to quarantine themselves, or complaining about them will face stern action from the district administration,” Mr. Ram warned.

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