On a day the third phase of nationwide lockdown began with easing of certain restrictions, Haryana minister Anil Vij expressed strong reservations against the relaxations saying that he fears, its “consequences will be devastating”.
“People are not yet used to maintaining social distancing, or wearing a mask. Others talk from their mind, I talk from my heart. Dar lagta hai,” Vij, who holds both the home and health portfolios in state cabinet, told The Indian Express.
“The prime minister said that people have to follow social distancing norms. He also said that Jaan bhi, jahaan bhi. Both are necessary. We have to ensure health and safety of our people, but simultaneously it is also important to run the economic activities. That is why if we break the rules, if we do not follow the instructions, the consequences will be devastating. There will be too much damage,” Vij added.
Asked if he was consulted before relaxations in the lockdown were announced, Vij said, “No, I was not consulted.
“But, had I been consulted, I would have definitely raised my concerns. Even if my concerns were turned down, yet I would have strongly raised my point.”
Commenting on the state government’s decision of easing restrictions in the third phase of lockdown, Vij said, “The decision was taken by the chief minister. He must be having a broader vision than me. I may not be able to match his thought process, but as far as my thoughts go, I feel scared.”
Hinting at a possibility of a “review” on relaxations, he said, “People will have to follow the norms of social distancing and other instructions. There is no other option.”
On sealing the borders with neighbouring states, Vij said, “I was compelled to take such a decision. Yesterday, 66 people were tested positive, a majority of them had come from Delhi. It is right that all of us have to fight a united battle against this pandemic, but I am responsible for people of my state also”.
About the spread of COVID-19 in Haryana, Vij said, “Coronavirus has gone asymptomatic. It has become difficult to find out who is infected and who is not. There is a possibility that the person sitting next to us is infected and the virus may be transmitted to us. That is the reason, social distancing is a must”.
Haryana has witnessed a major spike in the number of COVID cases in the last four days. In the last 24 hours, Haryana recorded 75 new cases.
Till three days ago, the state had a recovery rate of 72.72 per cent, which dipped to 49.13 per cent on Monday.
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