A day after Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope warned about the possibility of a COVID-19 third wave, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday said that the government has instructed the Police officials to convince the local groups to cooperate with the government on the upcoming festivals including Dahi Handi and Ganesh Chaturthi.
Addressing a press conference after the weekly COVID review meeting, Pawar said, "We have instructed our Police officials to talk with the local groups and to seek their cooperation for whatever decision the government takes." "Rules are the same for everyone. Cases are being registered wherever gatherings happen. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has appealed to all to avoid events where gatherings take place. Everybody should follow rules laid down by the government without bringing politics into it," he added.
"The positivity rate has been reduced up to 3.1 in the Pune district. Testing has been increased despite that the positivity rate is low. Still, I would appeal to all to take care during the coming festivals. Many are demanding to reopen schools but the Chief Minister will take a decision on this after discussing it with the task force," he added further.
Talking about the government order concerning the vaccination of teaching and non-teaching staff, Pawar said, "We have decided to give priority to teachers and teaching staff because if at all government decides to start schools in coming days then teaching and non-teaching staff will be vaccinated. On August 31, Bajaj Group is giving 1.35 lakh vaccines to the government and that vaccine they promised to give for the Pune district. We have informed other companies as well that they can also give us the vaccine as they wish/possible." "In September there won't be any problem in giving more vaccines because production has been increased. We are ensuring that we vaccinate more and more people before the third wave starts," he added.