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Pune (Maharashtra)

Ten ministers of the Maharashtra government and 20 MLAs have been infected with COVID-19, said state Deputy Cheif Minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday despite the shortened Assembly Winter Session.

He appealed to the people to follow the COVID restrictions to curb the spread of the infection. Speaking to the reporters here after paying homage at the Vijay Stambh the memorial of Bhima Koregaon battle, Pawar said, “I want to appeal to the people that they need to understand that COVID is increasing rapidly in the state, as a result of which, we had to cut short our assembly session to 5 days only, and despite keeping so short winter session we have seen more than 20 MLAs and 10 Ministers of the government getting infected with COVID-19.”

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When asked about lockdowns, Ajit Pawar informed that as far as lockdown or restrictions are concerned, a meeting was already held with the task force at the Cheif Ministerial level.

“To take a decision about lockdown we have to see at what rate infections are increasing on the daily basis. If the number of patients starts increasing rapidly then unwillingly time would come for the government to take further strict decisions on restrictions to curb the spread but I wish that such a situation doesn’t arrive,” he said.

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The Deputy Chief Minister further added that everyone has to follow rules and guidelines stated by the state government and administration irrespective of the kind of events and programs.

“Crowding has to be minimized. This new Variant of covid is infecting people rapidly and at a faster pace,” he said.

Warning of the adverse effect of Omicron Variant of COVID-19, Pawar Said, “In past, we all had paid a big price in the second wave where we lost some of the very close friends and relatives. For the government, every life matters. Our effort is to save each and every one.

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The NCP leader further added that some of the states have already put lockdowns during the night and restrictions in the daytime.

“In Maharashtra, COVID infection is seen more in Mumbai and Pune and which is ultimately spreading to other places too, we need to stop this,” he said.

Meanwhile, India reported 22,775 new COVID-19 cases and 406 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday.