Will get stricter if Covid norms ignored: Pawar

PUNE: Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said on Friday that the state government would be forced to take strict measures if people continue to ignore Covid-appropriate behaviour like wearing of face masks and maintaining social distancing at public places.
“It has been observed that many people are not wearing face masks, nor are they maintaining social distancing at public places. This has by and large contributed to the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, particularly after February 1,” Pawar said at a function organised by the Pune police to return seized stolen properties to their rightful owners.
He referred to state home minister Anil Deshmukh and, now, health minister Rajesh Tope getting infected by the virus and said, “People, too, have a huge responsibility towards ensuring precautionary measures to contain the spread of the virus.”
Pawar pointed out that the local administration at Amravati and Akola in Vidarbha region had to impose lockdown-like restrictions and if people don’t adhere to precautionary measures then the state would be left with little option, but to take stricter measures.
A review meeting of the authorities from Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Pune rural would be held soon to chalk out an action plan to contain the spread of the virus, he said.
Pawar said, “Large number of people were getting infected and the recovery rate was relatively less. Ever since the outbreak of the pandemic, many government and police officials and personnel died because of the virus. We have taken a decision to give financial assistance of Rs50 lakh and job to the kin of deceased policemen.”
He lauded the efforts of the state police in enforcing lockdown restrictions when the pandemic was at its peak in spite of facing criticism from people that they were being lathi charged at various places.
He also praised the doctors, nurses, health workers and others working for the cause of Covid-19 infected patients.
He appealed to the people to take care of themselves and their family members and help the district administration in containing the spread of the Covid-19 contagion.
Else, the government would be forced to take strict measures to discipline them if they do not adhere to the guidelines relating to Covid-19, Pawar added.

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