Mumbai: Days before the commencement of the 10-day Ganesh Utsav, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday warned that any Covid protocol violations on the first day will invoke stringent curbs. Pawar said the state government has not imposed any additional curbs but added that district administration must follow Covid-19 protocol as the Centre has already directed the state to take extra precautions.
"We don’t want to create any impediments in matters of faith but at the moment, it’s important to ensure that the health and lives of citizens are safeguarded," he added.
Pawar called upon the people to follow all Covid protocols saying that they should not put the government in a position where everything will have to close if the third wave of the pandemic hits Maharashtra.
His statement came close on the heels of the Centre’s advisory to the state for the imposition of restrictions to avoid the spread of virus and infection and crowding should not become a super spreader especially during the upcoming festivals in the state.
Pawar’s warning came on a day when 4,313 new Covid-19 cases and 92 deaths were reported on Friday in the state.
On the reopening of schools, Pawar said that discussions are being held with the experts and a decision will be taken, adding, "There are two opinions. Some say schools should open after Diwali, while others say they should be reopened in places where the Covid-19 positivity rate is zero. The chief minister, however, will take the decision."
On the demand by BJP and MNS to reopen temples in the state, Pawar said as the civic elections are round the corner, every party was striving to make its presence felt, which is why this "emotional" issue was being raised. He reiterated that people must refrain from celebrating the Ganesh Utsav on a grand scale.
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