PUNE: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday said he has instructed administrations in the state to take strict action against people who are found without masks in public amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking to reporters at Shivneri Fort after an event, Pawar said district administrations have been authorised to assess the situation in their respective districts and impose a lockdown from 6 am to 6 pm, if the situation demands.
"I am going to chair a meeting on February 21 in Pune to discuss measures to contain the viral spread," the deputy chief minister said. A spike in COVID-19 cases witnessed in some districts of the state is a matter of concern, he said.
"In some cases, the local administrations of such districts have been authorised to impose lockdowns from 6 am to 6 pm if the situation demands," he said.
Moreover, local authorities have been asked to take strict action against those who do not wear masks in public, Pawar said.
Speaking at an event organised to celebrate Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's birth anniversary at the fort, Pawar said he is thankful to people of the state for responding to the government's appeal to celebrate Shiv Jayanti and other festivals in a simple manner in the last one year.
"If Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had been there, he too would not have taken any decision that could endanger the lives of people," he said.
He also stated that the chief minister had announced Rs 23.50 crore funds for the development of Shivneri Fort and the same has been handed over now.
When asked about Puja Chavan death case in Pune, in which allegations have been levelled against a minister from the Shiv Sena, Pawar said the Sena can talk about the issue with more authority.
"I have already clarified that a detailed inquiry is being carried out in the case and no one will be shielded.
We should give time to the police to conduct the probe. I am sure that there will not be any political interference," he added.