Expressing concern over the rise in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, state Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday said the use of face masks will have to be made mandatory if the spike continues.
Maharashtra on Wednesday recorded 1,081 cases of COVID-19 infection, the highest daily rise after February 24. On Tuesday, the state had reported 711 cases.
Addressing a press conference here, Mr Pawar said, “The use of face masks will have to be made mandatory if the number of Coronavirus cases continues to grow.”
“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. Discussions have been held with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray regarding the COVID-19 situation in the state,” Ajit Pawar said.
The Deputy Chief Minister highlighted that the state government has withdrawn the liquor home delivery facility, as COVID-19 cases have reduced.
“We have withdrawn the liquor home delivery facility, as COVID cases have reduced.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 Now, the situation is in control and so we have withdrawn the facility,” he said.
Mr Pawar informed that the rising number of COVID-affected patients is a matter of concern. He also stated that the state government is aware of the situation and is analyzing the same.
Mr Pawar also spoke about Shiv Sena’s prospects in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls. He said that voting for the Rajya Sabha election will happen through open ballot and hence there was no question of anybody indulging in horse-trading.
“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,” he said.
Mr Pawar said 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.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)