Covid-19: Ten ministers, over 20 legislators test positive in India's Maharashtra

The government has said it will have to take steps to curb the spread if infections continue to rise sharply



Photo for illustrative purposes
Photo for illustrative purposes
by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 1 Jan 2022, 2:34 PM

Ten ministers in Maharashtra and a score of legislators have been infected with Covid-19, said Ajit Pawar, the state’s deputy chief minister.

Supriya Sule, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) parliamentarian (and daughter of Sharad Pawar, the party chief) and BJP leaders Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Harshvardhan Patil are also among those infected with the virus.

"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 five days only, and despite keeping winter session short we have seen more than 20 MLAs and 10 ministers of getting infected with Covid-19,” Pawar told the media on Saturday.

Asked about the possibility of a lockdown over the coming days, Pawar said if the infections continue to rise sharply, the government will have to take steps to curb the spread.

“But I wish such a situation does not arrive,” said Pawar. “Crowding has to be minimised. The new Covid variant is infecting people rapidly and at a faster pace.”

The Indian government has directed the state government to step up surveillance in Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Nagpur.

“This issue needs to be addressed proactively and immediately to ensure that neither the transmission spreads further nor do we reach a situation of increased mortality due to late detection of the cases,” said the government note.

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In Mumbai, the police have imposed section 144 till January 7, prohibiting celebrations and gatherings in open or closed space, hotels and restaurants and disallowed booking boats and banquet halls for any parties.

According to Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner of Mumbai, 90 per cent of the new cases are in high-rise buildings.

“Most of the patients are contracting the infection while attending family functions and ceremonies,” he said.


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