Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday slammed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government over the 'Jan Ashirwad Yatra' of their newly-inducted Cabinet ministers. Noting the massive crowds at these rallies, Pawar asked who will now be responsible if the state records a surge in the COVID-19 cases.
"On one hand, Central Govt is asking us to take appropriate measures (to contain COVID spread), on the other, it is asking four newly-inducted ministers (from Maharashtra) to take out rallies/yatras. Gathering at these rallies will obviously impact COVID spread," news agency ANI quoted Ajit Pawar as saying.
He added: "In the coming days, we will see the effect of these rallies wherever they are taking place. If it happens (COVID cases rise) where the rallies are taking place, who will be responsible for it?"
Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Saturday reported 4,831 new coronavirus cases and 126 deaths, taking the infection tally to 64,52,273 and death toll to 1,37,026, a state health department official said.
As many as 4,455 patients were discharged from hospitals across the state, which took the cumulative number of recovered cases to 62,59,906, he added.
Maharashtra now has 51,821 active cases.
There are 2,92,530 people in home quarantine and 2,357 in institutional quarantine.
Maharashtra's COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 97.02 per cent while the fatality rate is 2.12 per cent.
The total of coronavirus tests conducted in the state so far climbed to 5,34,56,403 with 2,00,379 samples tested since Friday evening.
Districts of Nandurbar, Jalna, Hingoli, Wardha, rural parts of Nagpur and Bhandara did not report any new case of COVID-19 since Friday evening.
The urban areas of Nanded, Parbhani and Dhule too did not report new infection.
On the other hand, Ahmednagar district reported the highest 789 new infections, followed by rural parts of Pune with 597 new cases.
Pune city and rural parts of Solapur reported the highest number of deaths -- 18 each -- since Friday evening.
Among eight regions, the Pune region reported the highest 2,060 new COVID-19 cases, followed by 901 cases in the Nashik region.
The Mumbai region reported 850 new cases, Kolhapur 778, Latur region 166, Aurangabad 29, Akola 28 and the Nagpur region reported 19 cases.
Of 126 fatalities reported on Saturday, the highest 59 were reported from the Pune region, followed by 28 from the Kolhapur region.
Whereas the Nagpur region did not report any fresh fatality on the second day in a row.
The Mumbai region reported 17 deaths, Nashik 18, Latur two and Aurangabad region reported one death.
Mumbai city recorded 391 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths, while Pune city reported 284 cases and 18 new fatalities.
Coronavirus figures of Maharashtra are as follows: Total cases 64,52,273; New cases 4,831; Total deaths 1,37,026; Total recoveries 62,59,906; Active cases 51,821; Total tests 5,34,56,403.
(With PTI inputs)