Other States

Pune Market Yard stops operations indefinitely

All quiet: Sweepers clean the deserted Market Yard premises on Thursday.

All quiet: Sweepers clean the deserted Market Yard premises on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Jignesh Mistry

With number of COVID-19 cases in district crossing 200, APMC fears risk of exposure to labourers

With 14 COVID-19 deaths being reported from Pune since Wednesday and the number of cases exceeding 200, the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) at Gultekdi has decided to remain shut indefinitely till further notice. District authorities, meanwhile, sealed off more parts of the city on Thursday.

“While the police and district authorities had already sealed off the Gultekdi Market Yard three days ago, vehicles carrying vegetables were still entering the market in a regulated manner. However, since a trader tested positive for COVID-19, there is a palpable sense of dread hanging over labourers here, who are at a great risk of being exposed. Hence, after a meeting of traders and vehicle drivers’ associations, we have decided to completely suspend operations until further notice,” said B.G. Deshmukh, administrator, APMC, Pune.

This means that vehicles bearing fruits and vegetables will no longer be allowed into the market, while wholesalers will not be able to transact business till the spread of the virus is contained in Gultekdi, which has been identified as one of the hotspots in the city by officials.

22 deaths till now

Pune district has recorded 210 COVID-19 cases till now, while the death toll has soared to 22, and that in Pune division has risen to 23 with one death in Satara.

The district recorded more than 50 new cases over a 48-hour span, and more than 135 fresh cases as well as 14 deaths over a six-day period. However, in comparison with Wednesday, the city recorded significantly fewer cases (12) on Thursday, and two deaths as opposed to 12 the previous day.

Curfew-like measures

Even then, the frightening surge has caused civic authorities and the district administration to enforce more stringent lockdown measures in two of the 15 wards that comprise Pune city. Furthermore, these curfew-like measures have been enforced in one division of each of seven wards.

“Cumulatively, the measures will impact an estimated 10.5 lakh people in the high-risk zones as a large number of positive cases have been reported from the RTO to Gultekdi stretch. Additionally, we have sealed off four zones in Pimpri-Chinchwad and one zone has been identified as a restricted zone in Islampur in Sangli district,” said Pune Divisional Commissioner Dr. Deepak Mhaisekar.

The death of a vegetable vendor in Baramati in Pune district has compelled divisional authorities to seal off two areas there as well. At least four COVID-19 cases have been reported from there.

“We are still awaiting the test results of 155 samples in Pune division [which includes Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur districts]. Till date, more than 22 lakh households across the division have been covered by home surveillance teams in these five districts,” said Dr. Mhaisekar.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 9:10:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pune-market-yard-stops-operations-indefinitely/article31304016.ece

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