The state government on Sunday hinted at the possibility of reimposing some curbs over the movement of people in view of the threat of a second wave of Covid-19 infections engulfing the state.
While Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urged the people to avoid crowding and unnecessary travelling and hinted at some curbs being imposed if norms are not followed, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar categorically said that the government was keeping an eye on the situation and would review the same in the next 10 days to see if a lockdown was required.
“We are at a crossroad and have to decide where to go. Shall we go for a lockdown again? It is not my favourite subject. So, since we are at a crossroad, we have to control our movements. While the vaccine will come, we have to be careful right now,” Uddhav said while addressing the state through social media.
“Some people are suggesting that I impose a night curfew. Still, I feel that there is no need for law for everything. We must fulfill our responsibility. We didn’t impose a ban but you didn’t burst firecrackers during Diwali on my appeal,” he added.
“We have to take precautions post-Diwali as there was crowding during the festival… The increase in crowding does not mean that the crisis is over. There is another wave in Delhi and night curfew has been imposed in Ahmedabad. The second wave, if compared with the first wave, maybe like a tsunami,” he said. He also urged the warkaris to celebrate Kartiki Ekadashi, which falls on November 26, in a simple manner.
Maintaining that the state health machinery is fully prepared to tackle any eventuality, Uddhav further said: “Do not think that the crisis is over, as we have reopened everything.” He added that youngsters are getting infected in the second wave of Covid-19.
The CM said that there is still uncertainty regarding the availability of the vaccine and how it should be administered to people. “So, the only option is to wear a mask, wash hands and maintain social distancing.”
Uddhav, while thanking people for their cooperation, also expressed displeasure over a section not following norms. “While many people are wearing masks, many are moving around without wearing masks and crowding at places. Though we have opened offices, we still could not open schools despite taking a deciding to do so. We are worried as students may get infected.”
“I don’t want to bring in politics. Some people are saying open everything. But will they take responsibility for it?” he asked in an apparent reference to Opposition BJP.
Ajit Pawar, meanwhile, said that the decision on whether to again impose a lockdown will be taken in next few days. “It was very crowded during Diwali. The situation was similar during the Ganesh festival. We are talking to the concerned departments about Covid-19 testing and the number of cases. We will review the situation for the next eight to 10 days and then a decision will be taken on the lockdown,” he told mediapersons.
States like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have imposed night curfew in some cities in view of the rising cases. Last week, the Maharashtra government had said that it was considering the option of curtailing or discontinuing flights and train services to New Delhi.
Sources said Uddhav has directed officials to “act fast” to contain a fresh wave of infections in the state.
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