Other States

Coronavirus | Decision on lockdown soon, says Uddhav

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said the government will be announcing the decision to call for a lockdown in the State within two days, hinting at a week’s shutdown to break the chain of spiralling coronavirus cases. The Chief Minister also hinted that citizens may have to face few hardships in the coming days.

At an all-party meeting called by Mr. Thackeray to discuss the possible lockdown, a consensus was reached on the need to call for the stricter lockdown at least for eight days. All parties also asked the administration to ensure adequate time for preparation before announcing lockdown. The Chief Minister will also meet with the State’s Task Force on COVID-19 before the decision is announced.

The opposition BJP while agreeing to the Chief Minister’s stand, said the government must think about announcing a special package for daily wage labourers as they will be most affected.

“We discussed the present situation in the State. We are running out of vaccines, hospital beds and ventilators and the number of patients continue to rise. Drastic steps need to be taken to counter the spread of the disease. Lockdown is one such step. But final decision will be announced by Chief Minister,” said Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Ashok Chavan, after the meeting. He said the lockdown is mainly aimed at breaking the chain and should not be long-lasting. “After initial lockdown there will be phase-wise relaxations,” he said.

All three parties of the MVA, namely Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress stood together giving Mr. Thackeray a free hand to take the final call on a lockdown.

Congress ministers, who had previously attended a video-meeting with party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi and leader Rahul Gandhi stressed on the need to ensure daily wage labourers are suffer in least possible way as happened in last year’s lockdown.

BJP’s state unit president Chandrakant Patil said that his party sought a comprehensive plan to counter the possible financial effects on the people of Maharashtra. “We are not against lockdown. But expect the state government to announce a plan. It has not helped the people of this state a single rupee. Initially the CM was reluctant on that front, but on our insistence he agreed to think about the same,” said Mr Patil. The BJP leader added that state’s Finance Minister Ajit Pawar has accepted to call for a meeting on Monday to discuss financial aid to daily wager such as autorickshwa, taxi drivers and others.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 4:28:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-decision-on-lockdown-soon-says-uddhav/article34291245.ece

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