PUNE: Pune police has appealed to owners of shops, eateries and bars in Maharashtra's second-largest city to down shutters as a social distancing measure to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak, an official said on Tuesday.
As on Tuesday, Pune and neighbouring Pimpri-Chinchwad have 16 Covid-19 patients.
While police, in the morning, issued orders to shops and other establishments to down shutters, an official later in the day clarified that it was not a compulsion but an appeal.
"We are approaching eateries, restaurants and shops with large footfalls and asking them to remain closed voluntarily. In view of the current situation, social distancing is an essential tool to contain further spread of the virus," said Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shisve.
He added that should these establishments remain open, then it was imperative for them to adhere to guidelines and protocol in place to combat the spread of the virus.
He admitted that police personnel in some parts of Pune issued notices for the closure of establishments earlier on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Pune Restaurant and Hoteliers Association said restaurants and bars in their fold will voluntarily remain closed between March 18 and 20.
Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram had, on Monday, asked private firms to allow their employees to work from home.
Trusts overseeing the Shrimant Dagdu Sheth Halwai Ganpati Temple, Mahalaxmi Temple, Kasba Ganpati, Shirdi Saibaba Temple among others decided to close their portals till further notice.
Pune Retailers Traders Association has decided to keep shops closed for three days.