Govt should have suspended train services earlier: Sena

Govt should have suspended train services much earlier: Shiv Sena

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus wears a deserted look during 'Janata curfew' in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. PTI

Amid the growing number of coronavirus cases, the Shiv Sena on Monday said the way Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the sudden decision of demonetisation, a similar approach could have been followed and train services could have been suspended much earlier.

Had the rail services, including the local trains in Mumbai, been suspended earlier, the number of coronavirus patients would not have seen an exponential growth, an editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said.

It expressed fear that India could be on the path of Italy and Germany which "did not take the pandemic threat seriously", resulting in the coronavirus claiming thousands of lives there.

"Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) is known for leaving people 'surprised' with his decisions. At the time of note ban, he had given very little time for people to react, then why so much time has been taken at the time of this pandemic?" the Sena asked.

The suburban services in Mumbai should have been suspended on priority, but officials of the Indian Railways were "not keen on it," it claimed.

"We are repeating the mistakes of Italy and Germany. Crowding is a huge risk as the infection can spread easily. Had the train services been suspended earlier, the number of positive patients would not have seen an exponential growth," it opined.

It is not just the people who care less about the seriousness of the situation, but it has even been seen at the administrative level, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.

Cities like Milan and Venice in Italy have "virtually become graveyards" where people could not even attend funerals (of those who died due to the coronavirus). The streets of Rome are deserted. Germany is also on the same path, it said.

"We should understand the gravity of the situation as the number of positive patients has increased by 40 per cent in the last couple of days. We have only one hospital bed available per 50,000 people, as our population is 130 crore," the Marathi daily said.

People of Italy had come out on streets earlier "ignoring the advisory for social distancing", when the disease was spreading, it said.

"They did not show any discipline and now are paying the price for it. Similarly, Indians also have to do away with their social gatherings and events like 'Taali Bajao' (clap). The real patriotism is in staying at home," the Sena said.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to thank doctors, nurses, paramedics, municipal staff, armed forces,and others who are risking their lives to keep the nation healthy, millions of people came out of their homes briefly on Sunday evening during thr 'Janta curfew' to show gratitude with sounds of bells, conches and claps.

The Sena said during the 1896 plague outbreak, leaders like Lokmanya Tilak and Gopal Ganesh Agarkar had self- quarantined. People had left cities and stayed in tents to check the spread of plague, it said.

"This time, we have to stay at home," it added.

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