PUNE — Making an alarming revelation, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Saturday that more than 10 state ministers and over 20 legislators, besides at least one MP – Supriya Sule – have tested Covid positive in the past few days.

He also warned that stringent restrictions could be clamped if the new Covid cases or Omicron infections continue to spurt in the state, and appealed to people to follow Covid protocols.

“We recently curtailed the Maharashtra Legislature session. Since then, over 10 ministers and at least 20 legislators have tested positive,” a grim Pawar Jr said.

He was interacting with media persons in Pune after visiting the Victory Monument at Koregaon-Bhima on the 204th anniversary of the Anglo-Maratha War.

Saying that everyone wanted to celebrate New Year, birthday, weddings or other occasions, he said people bear in mind that the Omicron variant spreads very quickly and utmost precautions need to be exercised.

“Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to the masses and some states have already clamped night curfew. In Maharashtra, the cases are increasing hugely in Mumbai and Pune,” the Deputy CM said.

Ajit Pawar’s caution came barely hours after Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Dr Pradeep Vyas expressed apprehensions that the state could witness at least 80 lakh Covid/Omicron cases and around 80,000 fatalities.

The Mumbai Police on Friday barred people from going to any public venue like beaches, sea fronts, promenades, grounds, gardens, etc daily from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. till January 15 to prevent crowds as the city reported a massive spike in fresh infections, and leads in Omicron cases.

Several ministers including Health Minister Rajesh Tope and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar have dropped broad hints at clamping curbs similar to the first wave if the cases continue to swing upwards, though Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will take the final call.