Don't make govt shut everything if 3rd Covid wave hits: Maha Dy CM Ajit Pawar
Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Friday urged people to follow all Coronavirus-related protocols and said they should not put the government in a position where everything will have to close if the third wave of the pandemic hits Maharashtra.
Being one of the worst-hit states from the pandemic apart from Kerala, Maharashtra has till now reported 6,473,674 cases due to Covid-19. On Thursday, the state saw another high of 4,342 cases, while 55 patients died and 4,755 recovered. Amid the worsening situation, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government is mulling to bring back the lockdown-like restrictions to contain the spread of the viral disease.
Addressing reporters in Pune, Pawar, who is also the district’s guardian minister, said on Friday that in Maharashtra’s rural areas, some people have become lax and are not wearing masks or following social distancing, and are assuming the Covid-19 pandemic is over. “This has led to a rise in infections,” Pawar said, according to news agency PTI.
On being asked when will schools reopen in Maharashtra, Pawar said that talks are being held with experts and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray will take the decision in this regard. “There are two opinions. Some say schools should open after Diwali, while others say they should be reopened in places where the Covid-19 positivity rate is zero,” the deputy chief minister added.
As Ganesh Chaturthi is coming closer, Pawar also said that people must refrain from celebrating in a grand way. Pointing out that all big organisers will observe the festival in a simple manner and there will be no decorations, he said there is no scope of crowding. “We will monitor the situation from day one, and if we find that gatherings are taking place, stricter measures will be taken from the second day,” Pawar added.
The Union health ministry on Thursday advised that mass gatherings across the country should be discouraged, specifically in the upcoming festive season, adding full vaccination should be a prerequisite if it is absolutely critical to have a gathering of some people. Addressing a press conference, Niti Aayog Member (Health) Dr V K Paul said that people have to be careful in the upcoming festive season and urged them to celebrate festivals within their families. “We will not have mass gatherings, we will not move out unnecessarily and we will shop at markets carefully without overcrowding” Dr Paul said.