Coronavirus lockdown | It was wrong to impose lockdown suddenly: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

Uddhav Thackeray. File photo: PTI

Uddhav Thackeray. File photo: PTI  

‘Nor is it right to withdraw it abruptly’

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday that it was neither right to impose a lockdown suddenly nor to withdraw it abruptly. He said the State was restarting activities in phases and people should not violate physical distancing norms and exhibit indiscipline.

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“We cannot end it abruptly. If we do it like the manner in which it was invoked, it may lead to an increase in the number of [COVID-19] cases. We are bringing activities back on track in phases. We have to take precautions,” he said in his social media address.

Mr. Thackeray recalled what he had said at the videoconference of Opposition parties two days ago. “I said the real picture about our country will be clear in the coming fortnight due to the migration and the likely transmission of the virus due to the movement of people,” he said.

At a time of crisis, no one should resort to politics, he said, referring to the opposition BJP’s agitation over the increasing number of cases in the State. “You may do it, but we will not as we are vested with a responsibility and, above all, the people of Maharashtra trust us,” he said.

Also read: Coronavirus | NDMA directs Centre, States to extend lockdown till May 31

“We are planning for the future. We are lifting the lockdown gradually. Industries, shops and offices are being opened slowly. Just like how we gradually went into the lockdown, we will gradually lift restrictions to make sure everyone is safe,” he said.

Thanking the people for their discipline shown to contain the disease, Mr. Thackeray said a Central government’s team had projected that 1.25 lakh-1.5 lakh cases were likely to be detected in the State by May-end. “But, today, we have 33,786 active cases, and another 13,000 have been discharged. This has happened because of the discipline shown by you,” he said.

He said the number of cases would increase in the coming days, but the government was prepared to deal with it.

Also read: India lockdown 4.0 guidelines | What’s allowed and what’s not?

Answering criticism over the State’s failure to announce any relief package, he said the government would do it, but it would fight the medical crisis first. “There have been many packages, claimed to be worth lakhs of crores of rupees, but they are empty in reality. Our Maha Vikas Aghadi government does not give empty promises,” he said, recounting the government’s efforts at ration distribution, shiv bhojan, covering the population under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana.

“We have sought 80 trains daily for migrant workers to go back home, but only 50% trains are being allowed. We have the capacity to take in more. The State paid ₹85 crore for 481 trains on which over six lakh workers have travelled. Government buses have undertaken 32,000 trips from May 5 to 23, transporting 3.80 lakh workers. They have dropped the migrants walking on the road at nearby stations or taken them to the State border,” he said.

Also read: Will migrant workers benefit from the Centre’s measures?

The Chief Minister asked those with co-morbidities to be more careful and approach doctors if they showed symptoms. “Now, it has come to light that the primary symptoms of COVID-19 include persistent fever, lack of taste and smell and tiredness. So, seek medical care immediately instead of ignoring these signs,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 2:15:34 AM |

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