Don’t Think COVID-19 Threat is Over in Maha: CM Uddhav Thackeray
“We are standing at a dangerous turn. We have to decide whether we want to go for a lockdown or follow protocols.”
The coronavirus pandemic can trigger a third wave like a “tsunami” said Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in a webcast shared on Twitter on Sunday, 22 November. Adding that although the pandemic has been relatively controlled in Maharashtra due to the “restraint and discipline shown by citizens”, Thackeray said he was upset that people have stopped wearing masks and following social distance protocols post-Diwali.
Unlock Process Doesn’t Mean Pandemic is over: CM
"In the past, we celebrated all our festivals with caution. Be it Ganeshotsav or Dussehra. Even while celebrating Diwali, I requested you to not burst crackers and you followed. And because of this, the war against Covid is in our control. “We will have to take more precautions after Diwali. The threat of coronavirus has not passed. Several countries are seeing the second wave," he said in the webcast.
“We are standing at a dangerous turn. We have to decide whether we want to go for a lockdown or follow all the mandatory COVID-19 safety protocols”, he added.
The Maharashtra CM appealed to people to not crowd religious institutions which have been opened to the public now since the unlocking of the state. He requested people to avoid moving around and if they do, to move around without crowding.
“Unlock process did not mean that the pandemic is over. Even though the places of religious worship have been reopened, avoid crowding there. Several festivals passed off during the pandemic with majority people celebrating it without crowding. We have been able to control the spike, but we can’t be careless,” the chief minister said.
Thackeray said that the second and third wave is “strong like a tsunami”.
“The spiralling cases in Delhi is a cause of concern and there is a night curfew in Ahmedabad. I don’t want another lockdown, but you should also understand the gravity of the situation,” the Maharashtra chief minister said.
Maharashtra, which reported one of the highest COVID-19 outbreaks in the country, has managed to reduce the caseload of positive cases, making it the only state in the top-five tally with a reduction in active cases. The state’s recovery rate is now 92.75 percent, while the fatality rate is 2.62 percent, reported Hindustan Times.
He told the country that the cases in Maharashtra have come down, but that still doesn’t call for laxity by the citizens. He said that the third wave is affecting the youth who can eventually affect the elders. “Today the count of cases has come down but we are at a crossroads. Which way do we want to go? We need to keep our actions in check”, he said.
The CM thanked the health workers, officers and essential staff for their contribution in managing the pandemic but also said, "If we don't have enough beds, our healthcare workers get infected, then nobody can save us. This is not the case right now, but we still must be very careful. We have still not been able to open schools. We are at a cusp. I don't want to go to any lockdown again”.
The CM said schools have been reopened with precaution, and although he has been advised to impose a night curfew in the state, he doesn’t believe these restrictions can achieve anything, “Once again I want to tell you, do not overcrowd, wear a mask, wash hands, and keep a distance”.
The CM said that overcrowding will only cause the pandemic to grow in the state. Addressing questions about whether the impending vaccine will come to the state, the CM said that it will take time to implement for Maharashtra’s huge population of 12 crore people, administering the vaccine, which needs to be given twice, will be a long process.
On Sunday, Maharashtra reported nearly 18 lakh coronavirus cases so far, with 82,000 active cases. The death toll in the state rose to 46,623 after 50 more people died due to the viral contagion in the last 24 hours and 5753 new active cases, reported Hindustan Times.
(With inputs from NDTV and Hindustan Times)
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