Maharashtra: Baramati Shuts Down for a Fortnight as Pune District in Grim Battle Against Covid-19


Health workers wearing protective suits arrive for a COVID-19 health check-up camp, at Malad in Mumbai. —  PTI file photo

With more than 2 lakh Covid cases, the district, a stronghold for the NCP, which is a key player in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, is facing a major challenge, forcing Sharad Pawar to camp in Pune

Ashok Kumar | Clarion India

MUMBAI – The bustling town of Baramati near Pune, hometown of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, has gone into a two-week shutdown to battle the raging Covid-19 crisis. Officials have described the massive shutdown as ‘voluntary.’

Pawar, who has been camping in Pune for the past few days and monitoring the situation in one of the worst-hit cities and districts in India – is apparently worried over the uncontrollable rise in Covid cases in the NCP stronghold. Pune has emerged as the first district in India to record more than 2 lakh Covid cases. It has reported almost 4,500 deaths so far.

The district faced a major crisis in August. Over the past month, the number of Covid cases doubled from 1 lakh to now touch 2.03 lakh. Other cities with high Covid cases include Delhi (1.93 lakh) and Mumbai (1.57 lakh).

Baramati has been completely shut down from Monday and shopkeepers plan to enforce the ‘voluntary’ closure for a fortnight. “The situation is indeed grim here,” Azam Khan, president, Dr Saifullah Education Trust, Baramati, told Clarion India on Wednesday. “The city was functioning normally till last week, but the growing number of Covid cases has resulted in this fortnight-long closure.”

According to Purnima Tawde, president, Baramati Municipal Council, the ‘janata curfew’ is being voluntarily implemented by the residents of the city. All shops and offices in the city have remained shut and residents are also not venturing out on the streets.

Healthcare workers and officials were also shocked a few days ago in Baramati when a former sarpanch of Malegaon Budruk village in Baramati taluka began administering vaccines, which many believed was to prevent people from getting infected with Covid-19. The village had a high number of Covid cases and had been declared as a containment zone.

But Jaydeep Taware, the former sarpanch, conducted a medical camp on Sunday and those attending were given ‘Covid-19 vaccines.’ Many of the villagers also claimed to have paid some money for the vaccines. The local authorities have now launched an investigation into how a private individual could organise such camps. Taware claims that his team was administering BCG vaccines, which private groups and individuals are not allowed to do.




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