‘There will be strict restrictions if…’: Maharashtra Deputy CM amid rising COVID-19 cases

New Delhi: As many as 10 ministers and over 20 MLAs in Maharashtra have tested positive for COVID-19, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Saturday (January 1, 2022). Queried on the possibility of imposition of more curbs, Pawar said the state government is keeping a tab on the increasing number of patients.

“If the number of patients continues to rise then there will be strict restrictions. To avoid strict restriction everybody should follow norms,” he said.

“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,” Pawar added.

The statement comes a day after Maharashtra, the worst coronavirus-hit state in India, recorded 8,067 new infections, a rise of 2,699 compared to Thursday.

Maharashtra, notably, has recorded the highest number of infections of the Omicron variant (454), followed by Delhi (351), Tamil Nadu (118), Gujarat (115) and Kerala (109).

The state currently has 24,509 active coronavirus cases.

Earlier on Thursday, the Maharashtra government had announced fresh curbs on attendance at weddings, social, political, religious events, and funerals.

Meanwhile, the state’s Additional Chief Health Secretary has predicted that Maharashtra may report a total of two lakh active infections by the third week of January.

“Based on the current trend of rising COVID cases in the state, it is expected that we will have about two lakh active cases by the third week of January 2022,” Dr Pradeep Vyas told ANI on Friday.

“Don`t be lulled by the narrative that third wave or Omicron wave is mild and not fatal. It`s equally fatal for those who are not vaccinated and have comorbidities. So please improve vaccination coverage and save lives,” he added.

ALSO READ | Lockdown in Maharashtra soon? State minister answers amid increasing Omicron cases

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