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Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar (ANI)
Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar (ANI)

'Decision on lockdown in next 8-10 days,' says Maharashtra Deputy CM

  • 'There were huge crowds during Diwali period. Even at the time of Ganesha Chaturthi, we saw crowds... Now there are predictions that second Covid wave may come,' says Ajit Pawar
  • Meanwhile, CM Uddhav Thackeray urged people to follow the safety protocols strictly in order to avoid imposition of another lockdown

New Delhi: Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar on Sunday hinted at a Covid-induced lockdown in the coming days in the state owing to huge crowds witnessed during the recently concluded festival period.

"There were huge crowds during Diwali period. Even at the time of Ganesha Chaturthi, we saw crowds. We are speaking to relevant departments. We'll review the situation for next 8-10 days and then a decision will be taken about the lockdown," said Pawar in Pune.

"Now there are predictions that second wave may come. Government has made a lot of regulations to start schools, which includes different ways on how they should be sanitized," he further said.

The state government has allowed reopening of schools for classes 9 to 12 from tomorrow depending on the Covid-19 situation in local areas.

Reopening of schools has been postponed in Pimpri Chinchwad till 30 November in view of Covid-19 situation. "A total of 17 teachers and teaching staff have tested Covid positive out of 5,671 samples tested in the rural area of Pune. More teachers & teaching staff will be tested," said Pune Zila Parishad on Sunday.

Pawar's statement comes at a time when speculations are gathering steam about the state considering a possible suspension of train and flight operations to and from Delhi in view of the rising coronavirus cases in the national capital.

"Various measures are being discussed in order to curb the virus spread in the state, and suspension of train and flight operations to and from Delhi is one of them," Principal Secretary Sanjay Kumar told PTI.

"However, no decision has been taken so far on this," he added.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday urged the people of the state not to lower their guard against COVID-19 and follow the safety protocols strictly in order to avoid imposition of another lockdown.

He said that although he has been advised to impose a night curfew, he does not believe that anything can be achieved by imposing such restrictions.

Stating that the Unlock process does not mean that the pandemic is over, Thackeray asked the people to remain cautious.

In a webcast, he said even though people were largely adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols, many others were still not following the directive of mandatory use of masks and still venturing out into crowded places.

"The spiralling cases in Delhi is a cause of concern and there is night curfew in Ahmedabad. I don't want another lockdown, but you should also understand the gravity of the situation," he said.

"We are standing at a dangerous turn. We have to decide whether we want to go for a lockdown or follow all the mandatory COVID-19 safety protocols," he said.

With the addition of 5,753 coronavirus positive cases in Maharashtra on Sunday, the state's overall infection count increased to 17,80,208, the health department said.

The death of 50 patients took the fatality count to 46,623, it said in a statement.

A total of 4,060 patients were discharged during the day. With this, as many as 16,51,064 patients have recuperated across the state till date.

There are 81,512 active cases in the state at present.

Maharashtra's recovery rate is now 92.75 per cent, while the fatality rate is 2.62 per cent.

Of the 5,753 total cases reported on Sunday, 1,135 were detected in Mumbai alone, which took the city's case count to 2,75,714, while 19 deaths pushed the toll to 10,675.

In Mumbai, as many as 2,51,804 patients have recovered so far.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), which includes Mumbai and its satellite townships, reported 1,975 fresh cases. This took its overall tally to 6,17,474 with 18,504 deaths.

Nashik city reported 119 fresh cases, Pune city 323 cases, Pimpri Chinchwad 206 cases and Nagpur city reported 418 cases.

The authorities have so far conducted tests on 1,02,13,026 people across the state.

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