On a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated the “concerted efforts” of the Centre, state government and local authorities in containing the Covid-19 situation in Delhi, a demand for Opposition-ruled Maharashtra to be looked after by the Union Home Ministry came up on Saturday.
Hours after his initial tweet — “Requested @HMOIndia Shri @AmitShah to review #Maharashtra #Corona situation” — Javadekar posted, “I requested @HMOIndia Shri @AmitShah about not only Maharashtra but holding state-wise review of other states also, where #corona is a problem.”
In Delhi, Shah had stepped in after Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s statement that the national capital could have more than 5 lakh cases by July-end. It was deemed as creating panic.
Shah had said that since Delhi’s administration is managed by three different institutions — the Delhi government, civic bodies and the Centre – he had to step in to ensure proper coordination among the three arms.
BJP leaders argue that the Centre’s intervention turned things around in Delhi. Although the number of total cases has crossed 1 lakh in Delhi, experts say the city-state has managed to flatten the curve.
In Maharashtra, the number of Covid cases has crossed 2.30 lakh, with more than 6,800 cases being reported on Saturday. Many parts of the state has announced lockdown again to get a grip on the virus’ spread.
The state BJP has criticised the Uddhav Thackeray government over its handling of the situation, and sources said the party’s state unit has been trying to persuade the Centre to intervene, stating that the situation is showing no signs of abating for over a month.
On Saturday, BJP vice-president and Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe wrote to Chief Minister Thackeray expressing concern over the state government’s decision to impose lockdown again in many areas. He said this has created confusion among various sections.
In the meeting to take stock of the situation in various parts of the country, and preparedness of the states, Prime Minister Modi said a similar, Delhi-like approach should be adopted by neighbouring state governments to contain the pandemic in the whole of NCR.
He also praised the BJP-governed Gujarat for adopting novel ways in handling the pandemic. He specifically highlighted the surveillance and home-based care through ‘Dhanvantri Rath’ introduced in Ahmedabad and suggested that other states follow those steps.
The meeting was attended by Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and officials. Modi reiterated the need to observe personal hygiene and social discipline in public spaces. He stressed on the need to spread awareness about the pandemic and reiterated that there is no room for any complacency.
He also said real-time national-level monitoring and guidance should be provided to all affected states and places with high positivity rates.
In the case of Maharashtra, Sahasrabuddhe wrote to Thackeray: “Many believe this re-lockdown within a few days after declaration of Begin Again or Unlock-2 smacks of utter confusion at various levels of the administration. It is believed that these are decisions taken arbitrarily, and they can be described as a case of convenient safe-play. Not only traders and shopkeepers, but many other professionals, industrialists, entrepreneurs and common citizens are also inconvenienced due to this ad hoc-ism and inconsistency.”
On Saturday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s data 27,114 cases and 519 deaths reported from across the country in the last 24 hours. The total case count was 8,20,916, making India the third worst-hit nation behind the United States and Brazil.
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