As the country grapples with rising cases of the coronavirus disease and related deaths and all hopes are pinned on a vaccine against Covid-19, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday prayed for early availability of a shot and a world free of the disease.
Ajit Pawar performed the customary ‘maha pooja’ at Lord Vitthal’s temple at Pandharpur in Solapur district on the occasion of Kartiki Ekadashi, according to news agency ANI. The National Congress Party (NCP) leader and his wife Sunetra Pawar performed the pooja of Lord Vitthal and Goddess Rukmini at the temple early in the morning. Dattatray Bharane, the district’s guardian minister, was also present on the occasion, a statement from Ajit Pawar’s office said.
“The entire world is facing the challenge of Covid-19. We are facing the challenge ably… Let the Covid-19 vaccine be available soon and the world is free of the disease,” the deputy chief minister said in the statement.
Pawar said that it seemed in the recent past that the Covid-19 situation was under control in the state, but the number of patients has been going up since the past few days. God will end the Covid-19 crisis, but people need to take precautions like wearing face masks, washing hands regularly and avoiding gatherings, he said. “All need to observe all restrictions,” he added.
Maharashtra has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the country, nearly the double of the next worst-hit state of Karnataka. Maharashtra logged a total of 6,159 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, which took its tally of cases due to the disease to 1,795,959, a government health bulletin said. The tally in the state capital of Mumbai, one of the worst-hit cities, meanwhile, reached 278,590 with 1,144 new cases on Wednesday.
Ajit Pawar, who is also the state’s finance minister, prayed to God to enable the government to provide relief to farmers affected by heavy rainfall earlier this year. The NCP leader also paid respects to the 2008 Mumbai terror attack martyrs. “Maharashtra will always remember the sacrifices of brave martyrs and inspire the youth to fight for the country,” he said.
The deputy chief minister also extended wishes to the people on the occasion of the Constitution Day on Thursday.