Maharashtra Lockdown Update: Maharashtra Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Friday asked citizens to follow all the covid protocols and guidelines set by the government to contain the spread of the virus in the state. Expressing concerns over people letting their guard down against Covid-19 in rural areas Pawar urged citizens not to put the state government in a position where it has to shut everything in the event of a third wave of the pandemic.Also Read - Lockdown In Maharashtra Wil Be Imposed Again If Oxygen Demand Crosses 700 Tonnes, Confirms Govt Official

“Unfortunately, in rural areas, some people are becoming lax. They are not scared of coronavirus. They don’t use masks, don’t follow physical distancing, and they have assumed that everything (Covid-19 pandemic) is over. This has led to rise in infections,” Pawar said. Also Read - International Flights Latest News: Air India Resumes Direct Flight Services From Hyderabad to London Today | Check Complete Schedule Here

Speaking to reporters, Pawar said the Centre has already cautioned all the states, citing that Kerala and Maharashtra have been reporting the highest number of cases. The chief minister has appealed to people from time to time, but some people politicise the issue and resort to celebrating festivals, he said. Also Read - Odisha: Jagannath Temple in Puri to Remain Open For Devotees on Saturdays From Sept 13

Here are some of the important statements made by Ajit Pawar:

“All this should stop somewhere. People should not put the state government and administrations in a position where they have to close everything if the third wave hits,” he appealed.

When asked about reopening of schools, Pawar said discussions are being held with the concerned experts and a decision will be taken.

“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,” he said.

On BJP and MNS Demand To Open Temples:

Speaking about the BJP and MNS’ demand to open 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.

Pawar, who is also the guardian minister of Pune, was speaking to the media after holding a review meeting of the Covid-19 situation in the district.

The divisional commissioner (Pune division) has informed that at least 5 lakh doses may be available for the district soon, and the authorities will try to speed up the vaccination in slums, he said.

Pawar further said that while Ganesh Utsav is drawing closer, people must refrain from celebrating the festival on a grand scale.

“Since all big mandals (organisers) have decided to celebrate the festival in a simple manner and as there will be no decorations, there is no scope for crowding. However, we will monitor the situation from day one, and if we find that gatherings are taking place, stricter measures will be taken from the second day,” he said.