Mumbai: Alarmed by the increase in the spread of the Covid-19 scourge, people in several cities and towns in Maharashtra are opting for voluntary ‘Janata curfews’ to control the pandemic, officials said on Thursday.
Nagpur, the state’s second capital, has decided to go for a ‘Janata curfew’ for two of the remaining weekends of September — starting from September 18 night till September 21 morning followed by September 25 night till September 28 morning.
Nagpur Mayor Sandeep Joshi has appealed that the decision be taken at the behest of demands from peoples’ representatives and the common citizens in view of the rising Covid-19 cases and deaths in the city.
“Despite repeated appeals, some irresponsible citizens continue to flout rules and pose a threat. Lockdown is no solution as it is not permitted by the government. However, we have decided to implement a ‘Janata curfew’ with voluntary participation of people,” Joshi urged.
The announcement came after the Nagpur Mayor and Municipal Commissioner Radhakrishnan B. met officials and legislators like Nago Ganar, Girish Vyas, Krishna Khopde, Vikas Kumbhare, Mohan Mate, Standing Committee Chairman Vijay Jhalke, Dayashankar Tiwari, Sandeep Jadhav, Tanaji Vanve and Additional Municipal Commissioners Ram Joshi, Jalaj Sharma and Sanjay Nipane, besides medical authorities.
Radhakrishnan B. said given the current state of the city, there was a greater need for social responsibility and not a lockdown which was a period of preparation to tackle an impending situation.
“Every citizen must recognize his/her responsibility and adhere to the rules, take all precautions since the city has all required medical facilities and the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is making all-out efforts to further augment these,” Radhakrishnan B. added.
Mayor Joshi said since Radhakrishnan recently took over as the Municipal Commissioner, the health services have made a comeback as more Covid tests were being conducted and tests can be done at more than 50 centres helping early diagnosis and treatment.
On average, nearly 6,500-7,000 coronavirus tests were being conducted daily in Nagpur, the number of COVID hospitals has gone up from 7 to 40, and bed strength was nearly 3,500, 65 ambulances, 28 hearse vans, etc. to cater to the growing needs, Joshi added.
Besides, ‘Janata curfews’ have been enforced or announced for other towns like Kolhapur, Sangli, Jalgaon, Raigad, Aurangabad and Nagpur which also had a previous voluntary shutdown in the last weekend of July.
Till September 16, Nagpur district with a population of 4.7 million has recorded 55,827 Covid cases and 1,485 deaths, new patients plus fatalities were on the rise in other districts embracing ‘Janata curfews’.