Covid-19: Maharashtra govt hints at another lockdown

Covid-19: Maharashtra govt hints at another lockdown

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, both asked people to remain alert and maintain all precautions and follow protocols

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Credit: YouTube (CMO Maharashtra_)

With Covid-19 cases rising across the country, the Maharashtra government hinted at yet another round of lockdown measures on Sunday.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, both asked people to remain alert and maintain all precautions and follow protocols.

“We do not have the vaccine yet…the threat of coronavirus is not yet over….the best possible measures are compulsory wearing of masks, physical distancing, sanitization and avoiding crowding in public places,” Thackeray said in a webcast to the people of the state.

“Do we want another lockdown? I do not want to end five years with lockdown after lockdown,” he said, adding that the state celebrated various festivals including Ganesh Utsav, Dussehra and Diwali.

“We did it successfully but have seen crowds….We have opened places of worship but please do not crowd. You have to follow the norms if you do not want a lockdown again,” he said in his address.

Thackeray said that people should not take Covid-19 lightly. "Yes...there has been a reduction in cases in Maharashtra, but the threat of the pandemic is not yet over," he said, adding that so far, he has received cooperation from the people and the My Family My Responsibility programme has been progressing successfully.

In Pune, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was more specific.

“There was a huge crowd during the Diwali period. Even at the time of Ganesha Chaturthi, we saw crowds. We are speaking to relevant departments. We’ll review the situation for the next 8-10 days and then the further decision will be taken about the lockdown,” said Pawar.

Both Thackeray and Pawar spoke of the Covid-19 pandemic’s second wave.

“We are seeing what is happening in Europe…it is a second wave, sometimes I wonder if it is a second wave or a tsunami,” said Thackeray, adding that the state needed to learn from what was happening across the globe.

"Now, there are predictions that a second wave may come. Government has made a lot of regulations to start schools, which includes different ways on how they should be sanitized," said  Pawar.

The separate statements of Thackeray and Pawar on the same day come at a time when speculations about the state considering a possible suspension of train and flight operations to and from Delhi in view of the rising Covid-19 cases in the national capital are gathering steam.