10 Ministers, over 20 MLAs test positive for COVID-19 in Maharashtra

Mumbai: 10 Ministers and at least 20 MLAs in Maharashtra have tested positive for COVID-19 so far, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Saturday and added that strict restrictions might be clamped if the new COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state.

The information came barely two days after at least 54 people, including two ministers, tested positive for the virus during the ongoing winter session of the Maharashtra assembly.

On December 29, Tribal Development Minister K C Padavi and School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad had confirmed that they had tested positive for the virus and were entering isolation. Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Nagpur, Sameer Meghe also entered isolation after being infected.

Other who were infected included journalists who were covering the House proceedings, several house employees and security personnel. Over 2,300 people who were attending or covering the session, were tested for the virus at a camp over the weekend.

Mumbai, meanwhile, continued to see a surge in the number of new infections. On Friday, the city reported over 5,000 cases — a tally last seen in the city in April 2021.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation informed that the seventh phase of genome sequencing results had revealed that Omicron variant was detected in 55 per cent of the 282 samples it tested, followed by 32 per cent of Delta derivative and 12 per cent Delta variant. Out of those who tested positive with the Omicron variant, 17 had to be hospitalised.

Inputs with Agencies