Expressing concern about the relentless rise in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that while lockdown was an option to curb the spread, he still expected cooperation from the people in following pandemic norms.
Mr. Thackeray, who was speaking during a tour of Nandurbar district in north Maharashtra on Friday, conceded that the situation had become considerably grimmer after the State reported its highest single-day jump of nearly 26,000 cases on Thursday since the pandemic broke out last March.
“COVID-19 threat has increased once again. On Thursday, we crossed the peak in terms of cases that was recorded in September last year. While I see lockdown as an option, I trust that the people of the State will cooperate and follow pandemic regulations voluntarily like they did the last time,” said the Chief Minister, stressing that the priority now was on vaccinating more citizens.
When the pandemic began last year, there was nothing to fight the virus with, Mr. Thackeray said. “Now, we at least have vaccines as a shield. So, the priority is to ensure that everyone is vaccinated. People should come forward to get themselves inoculated without any hesitation,” he said, adding that the Centre had assured the State that there would be no shortage of vaccines.
He observed that while there had been a few instances of people getting re-infected post-vaccination, such cases were not “life- threatening”.
The State had witnessed a few cases of the foreign strain, the numbers were under control, he said.
The State has the highest number of active cases in the country, contributing to more than 60% of India’s total active cases.