10 ministers, over 20 MLAs test Covid positive in Maharashtra, says deputy CM Ajit Pawar

As many as 10 ministers and over 20 MLAs have tested positive for Covid-19 in Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Saturday.

The news comes a day after Maharashtra Minister for Women and Child Welfare Yashomati Thakur announced she has tested positive for coronavirus and was undergoing treatment.

Taking to Twitter on Friday, Thakur urged people who came in contact with her to get tested. She also appealed to people to observe Covid appropriate behaviour, as the number of cases was on the rise.

In light of more lawmakers contracting Covid-19, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar said that if the number of patients keeps increasing in the state, the government may have to impose further restrictions.

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“We cut short the Assembly session recently. So far, over 10 ministers and over 20 MLAs have tested positive for coronavirus. Everybody wants to be part of the celebrations of New Year, birthdays and other occasions. Keep in mind that the new variant (Omicron) spreads fast and hence caution is needed,” said Pawar, as quoted by PTI.

According to state health department data, Maharashtra reported 8,067 new coronavirus cases, as much as 50 per cent more than the day before, and eight deaths on Friday. The state also recorded four new cases of Omicron — one each in Vasai-Virar, Navi Mumbai, Mira Bhaynder and Panvel.

Mumbai alone accounted for 5,631 Covid cases, almost 2,000 more than Thursday, which took the caseload in the city on the last day of the year to 7,85,110, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.

In view of the prohibitory orders curtailing public gatherings at popular places amid the rise in coronavirus cases, New Year celebrations were muted in the Maharashtra capital.

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In Pune, the Covid-19 positivity rate touched 5.9 per cent on Friday after 412 cases were detected, raising the tally within civic limits to 5,10,218.

Meanwhile, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation imposed fresh curbs amid the uptick in number of cases. With effect from today, attendance at marriages and social, cultural, political and religious events will be restricted to 50, while the limit would be 20 for funerals.

On the other hand, state minister Vijay Wadettiwar created waves when he remarked on Friday that the stage of imposing a fresh lockdown is approaching in Maharashtra, and that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray would take the final call in the matter.

(With PTI inputs)

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