Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray (File image)
The Maharashtra government on Friday announced reopening of all religious places from October 7 in the state with COVID-19 protocols, a move that comes amid indication that the second wave of the pandemic is ebbing. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who made the announcement, urged people not to drop guard and continue COVID-19-appropriate behaviour in view of a possible third wave of the pandemic.
All religious places will be opened from October 7 in the state. The Maharashtra government has prepared itself for a third wave, but with all precautions, the state is allowing relaxations in various activities, he said.The CM said though infections are declining in the state the coronavirus threat persists.
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Although daily COVID-19 cases are showing a declining trend, everybody should take care and follow COVID-19 protocols, he said.While religious places are going to be opened, people still need to wear face masks and use hand sanitizers. The management of religious places will be responsible for implementation of such measures, Thackeray said.
For long, the opposition BJP had been demanding reopening of temples and other places of worship in Maharashtra. Last month, the BJP had staged protests in several cities of Maharashtra in support of their demand.After the first coronavirus wave waned, places of religious worship were reopened in Maharashtra in November last year, but they were shutdown again for people after the second wave started in the state in March 2021.
Maharashtra on Friday reported 3,286 new coronavirus cases and 51 deaths, which took the state's infection tally to 65,37,843 and the toll to 1,38,776, a health department official said.With 3,933 patients discharged from hospitals, the number of recovered cases rose to 63,57,012. Maharashtra now has 39,491 active cases.