Maharashtra Deputy CM urges people to follow COVID-19 norms
(Sourced from PTI)
Expressing concerns over people letting their guard down against COVID-19 in rural areas, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday urged citizens not to put the state government in a position where it has to shut everything in the event of a third wave of the pandemic. Pawar was speaking to reporters after holding a review meeting of the COVID-19 situation in Pune.
Pawar said that the Centre has already cautioned all the states, citing that Kerala and Maharashtra have been reporting the highest number of cases. "In rural areas, some people are becoming lax. They're not scared of coronavirus. They don't use masks, don't follow physical distancing, and they've assumed that the COVID-19 pandemic is over. This has led to a rise in infections," Pawar said.
"The Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has appealed to people from time to time, but some people politicize the issue and resort to celebrating festivals," he said. "All this should stop somewhere. People should not put the state government and administrations in a position where they have to close everything if the third wave hits," he appealed.
Regarding the reopening of schools, Pawar said discussions are being held with the concerned experts. "Some say schools should open after Diwali, while others say they should be reopened where the COVID-19 positivity rate is zero. However, the CM will take the decision," he added.
Speaking about the BJP's and MNS's demand to open temples in the state, Pawar said as the civic elections are round the corner, every party is striving to make its presence felt, which is why this "emotional" issue was being raised. Pawar further said that while Ganesh Utsav is drawing closer, people must refrain from celebrating the festival on a grand scale.
Pawar said, "Since all big mandals (organizers) have decided to celebrate the festival in a simple manner and as there will be no decorations, there is no scope for crowding." "However, 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," he added.