Avoid another lockdown, says Health Minister as more Maharashtra cities come under restrictions

Meanwhile, the state government is in deliberations over the X and XII board examinations
Last Updated 22 February 2021, 14:47 IST

As more and more Maharashtra cities and towns came under restrictions, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on Monday came out with an appeal to the citizens to avoid another lockdown.

On Sunday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had issued an ultimatum of eight to 10 days for people to mend ways and adopt the new normal else face lockdown.

“Our state is known for its understanding, sensitive and cooperative people. We have seen how people have cooperated with patience during the lockdown. Another lockdown will be unaffordable. Avoiding a lockdown is now in your hands. Therefore, it is my appeal to strictly follow masking, sanitisation and safe physical distancing to avoid lockdown," said the state’s public health and family welfare minister Rajesh Tope on Monday.

The plea of the government over the weekend seems to have fallen on deaf ears as crowding in public places was reported in Mumbai and the Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR).

Meanwhile, close on the heels in Vidarbha towns of Amravati, Akola and Yavatmal and urban centres of Pune and Nashik, the government announced restrictions in Nagpur, Aurangabad and Satara town, which include the closure of schools between 1 to 2 weeks and restrictions of movement during the night.

State’s food and civil supplies minister Chhagan Bhujbal tested positive. Meanwhile, the state government is in deliberations over the X and XII board examinations and the consensus is to conduct it offline from April 23 to May 20.

Following the appeal by Thackeray, the political rallies, large social gatherings and religious congregations are being postponed or cancelled.

However, marriage events are attracting huge crowds where people are not wearing masks. The district administration and municipal corporations have formed special squads and fining people.

Former BJP MP Dhananjay Mahadik's son's wedding in Pune saw a huge crowd and attendance by leaders including NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis among others. Pune city has a cap of 200 guests at weddings, however, a large crowd was seen on Sunday night at this wedding.

In Mumbai, several bars and restaurants were raided for flouting protocols and SOPs.

(Published 22 February 2021, 14:47 IST)

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