Lockdown Hurts Poor the Most: Anand Mahindra to CM as Cases Rise
Though an absolute lockdown is unlikely, Maharashtra will see restrictions being imposed in the state.
Amid a massive surge in COVID cases in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had hinted at the re-imposition of a lockdown in a meeting with the Relief and Rehabilitation department on Sunday, 28 March.
In response, businessman Anand Mahindra while giving a word of advice tweeted that, “The lockdown hurts the poor, migrant workers and small businesses the most.”
Though an absolute lockdown is unlikely, Maharashtra will see restrictions being imposed in the state. On Sunday, CM Thackeray while expressing caution over an impending economic impact, had asked the Relief and Rehabilitation department to formulate a standard operating procedure (SOP), which will be released around 1 April.
State officials had said that though local trains will continue to run and economic activities shall witness minimal impact, strict protocols to reduce overcrowding will be implemented in private offices, malls, public places, and pubs.
Officials said offices will be asked to make sure that there is less than 50 percent attendance, The Indian Express reported.
Mahindra added that, “The original lockdowns were essentially to buy time to build up hospital/health infrastructure. Let’s focus on resurrecting that and on avoiding mortality.”
Relief and Rehabilitation Department secretary, Aseem Gupta, had said, “If the desired outcome of reduction in cases is not seen, we will go to the next level and implement harsher measures. We don’t want to create a situation where migrant labourers panic and return home. The hardships that happened last year will not be repeated. But people who violate norms will be punished and there will be strict implementation of existing norms,” The Indian Express reported.
Gupta explained that cases are expected to peak till mid-April, and then witness a gradually declining trajectory. However, if the surge is not controlled, despite the restrictions that are to follow, a lockdown will have to be implemented.
In the presentation made to the CM on Sunday, Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas said that Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, and Thane were four districts that accounted for 60 percent of more than 3 lakh active cases in Maharashtra.
The State Covid Task Force had advised micro containment zones, increased contact tracing, and faster vaccination.
The state's Covid tally surged to 27,45,518 total infections with 31,643 infections recorded on Monday, NDTV reported. The state has imposed a night curfew for now.
(With inputs from NDTV and The Indian Express.)
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