April 17, 2021 1:35:06 am
With crowding being witnessed at many places across the state, senior ministers and Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leaders on Friday warned that the government may have to impose tighter restrictions to prevent Covid-19 cases from spreading.
Speaking to mediapersons in Pune, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that the number of cases in the second wave is much higher than the first wave.
“Some tough decisions had to be taken. We expect cooperation from the people. Yesterday, one of our Cabinet colleagues had said that if everyone does not respond to the restrictions properly, we will be left with no option but to impose tougher curbs like the last lockdown.
But we hope such a thing will not happen,” he said after holding a review meeting of the Pune district.
Pawar was referring to Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettwar’s remarks on Thursday. Indicating stricter curbs on essential services, Wadettiwar had said that people had been violating restrictions from the beginning. “If this continues, we will take a decision in the next few days to impose stricter curbs on essential services, such as grocery shops and vegetable markets, petrol pumps and Mumbai local trains.”
The MVA government has imposed a curfew from 8 pm on April 14 till May 1 across the state but exempted a range of essential services from it. That means that thousands of people are on the move at any given time with valid reasons.
Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil said that people must follow the restrictions to break the chain of the virus. “But people are still not taking it seriously, which is resulting in crowding on the streets… There is a difference between the last lockdown and the current restrictions. But if people do not cooperate, we will have to take a tough stance,” he added. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is concerned about issues faced by the people. “Everyone should follow norms. Don’t provoke the CM to take stricter steps,” he told mediapersons.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, meanwhile, urged doctors across the state to not prescribe Remdesivir to Covid-19 patients indiscriminately. He pointed out that according to top medical experts, only 25 per cent to 30 per cent Covid-19 patients benefit from Remdesivir.
“I am not a medical expert but top doctors in the state are of the opinion that Remdesivir should not be used indiscriminately. It should be administered to patients who will benefit from it. What we are seeing is that doctors are indiscriminately asking patients to procure Remdesivir, else are threatening to oust them from the hospital. This is improper and I request doctors to be judicious about its use,” said Pawar.
He added that the government is in talks with industrialists Sajjan Jindal of JSW and Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries for supply of oxygen. “The chief minister has spoken to both of them and they have agreed to help,” said Pawar.
When asked about the assistance the state was receiving from the Union government, Pawar said that it would be unfair to expect that the Centre will give all its attention to one state. “The Union government has to take care of the entire country and Covid-19 cases are going up in almost every state. It should not have exported vaccines… had it not done it, we would have had enough stock. Remdesivir shouldn’t have been exported at this point, but if these things are pointed out, people see it as a political comment. Hence, instead of making such comments, it’s good that we do our job and we let them do their job,” he added.
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