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Fourth wave scare in Maharashtra? Ajit Pawar hints at mandatory use of face masks if COVID-19 cases increase

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said, "If COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Maharashtra, the state government will take a decision to make masks mandatory. The government is keeping an eye on it. Discussions have been held with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray regarding the COVID-19 situation in the state." 

  • Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar has said that the use of face masks will have to be made mandatory if the spike continues
  • Pawar's statement came in view of Maharashtra recording 1,081 COVID-19 cases, the highest daily rise after Feb 24, on Wednesday

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Fourth wave scare in Maharashtra? Ajit Pawar hints at mandatory use of face masks if COVID-19 cases increase

Pune: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has said that the use of face masks will have to be made mandatory if the spike continues. His statement came in view of Maharashtra recording 1,081 cases of COVID-19 infection, the highest daily rise after February 24, on Wednesday. The state had reported 711 cases on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Ajit Pawar said, "If COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Maharashtra, the state government will take a decision to make masks mandatory. The government is keeping an eye on it. Discussions have been held with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray regarding the COVID-19 situation in the state." The Deputy Chief Minister highlighted that the state government has withdrawn the liquor home delivery facility, as COVID-19 cases have reduced.

"We have withdrawn the liquor home delivery facility, as COVID cases have reduced. The facility was started as there were restrictions on movement due curtail the spread of COVID-19. Now, the situation is in control and so we have withdrawn the facility," the ANI report quoted him as saying.

Expressing concern over the rising number of COVID-affected patients, the Deputy CM said that the state government is aware of the situation and is analyzing the same. 

Notably, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said that people should use face masks, vaccinate themselves and follow discipline if they don't wish to experience strict Covid-19 restrictions again in the state. 

Addressing the state Covid-19 task force meeting, Thackeray said the state government will keep a watch over the situation for a fortnight and take tough decisions the need be. 

"If people don't want restrictions again, they should follow discipline on their own. Use masks, observe the physical distance, sanitize and vaccinate," PTI quoted him as saying. Notably, the COVID-19 cases had risen by seven-fold in the last one-and-half month.

Rajya Sabha poll will happen through open ballot: Ajit Pawar

He also spoke about Shiv Sena`s prospects in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls and added that voting for the Rajya Sabha election will happen through open ballot, hence, there was no question of anybody indulging in horse-trading.

Ajit Pawar further said, "As per the strength of the state legislative Assembly, BJP can get two seats elected, while Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena one seat each. Shiv Sena has fielded one more candidate and NCP`s excess votes will go to the second candidate of Sena. Some independents are affiliated to Shiv Sena, some to BJP and some others to NCP. This is the reason for speculation about horse-trading."

The NCP will move the court to seek permission to allow jailed party leaders - minister Nawab Malik and former home minister Anil Deshmukh to cast their votes in the Rajya Sabha polls scheduled to be held on June 10, Pawar added.

(Inputs from Agencies)

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