Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said there will be a total lockdown in the state if people don’t start wearing face masks.
The statement comes amid increasing cases of coronavirus in Maharashtra.
He further said that ‘lockdown will start from tomorrow evening wherever needed’.
“Lockdown will not start all of a sudden. We aren’t putting a stop to any development works. Lockdown will start from tomorrow evening wherever needed,” said CM Thackeray.
CM Uddhav Thackeray’s ultimatum to the people comes just a little after a total lockdown has been imposed in Amravati, Achalpur cities of the state for a week. A partial lockdown has been imposed in five districts including Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Washim and Yavatmal.
“Amravati has around 1000 cases today, this is more than what it had last year during peak. From 40,000 active case there are 53,000 active cases in the state. Amravati, Yawatmal, Akola, Buldhana and Washmi are critical areas,” he said.
Thackeray added that Maharashtra today reported 6,971 new cases of coronavirus.
“Coronavirus started in March this year. There was no medicine then, there is no medicine now. But we have a vaccine. In Maharashtra, there are 9 lakh beneficiaries of Covid vaccine till now. There were myths regarding the vaccine but with 9 lakh beneficiaries those concerns are resolved,” said Thackeray.
Taking a swipe at the Centre, Thackeray referred to the Central government as ‘uparwala’ (almighty).
“When will the common man get the coronavirus vaccine? Balasaheb used to say ‘uparwale ko marzi’ [it is up to the almighty],” said Thackeray in Marathi.
” It’s in the hands of the Centre. They are deciding on how much vaccines to give. We have been carrying on the vaccination drive. I request our frontline workers to come forward and get vaccinated; it’s safe. But how much we vaccinate will also depend on how many vaccines we get from the Centre. How many we get and how many other countries get is the call of the Central government,” he added.
CM Thackeray urged people to wear mask saying that it is the only defence against coronavirus.
“What to do till we get the vaccine? Mask is our defence in this war. Please wear a mask,” he said.
“When we eased restrictions we did with the hope that rules would be abided by. But slowly we felt there was no coronavirus and we and many of us stopped wearing masks,” said Thackeray.
He added that the situation of health infrastructure in the state has improved now as compared to last year. “We have more beds and testing centres now. But I don’t want to boast about the preparations,” he said.
Speaking on speculations that Maharashtra has been hit with another coronavirus wave, CM Thackeray said, “Today, again coronavirus cases are rising. We don’t know if Maharashtra is hit with another Covid wave, we will know this in next 8-10 days”.
He said that some restrictions are needed in the state now.
“We became negligent for the last few days. Even I started going out. We are opening up temples and trains but we can’t ignore discipline. I know people don’t like these restrictions, but we need some restrictions now,” he said.
Thackeray further requested all allies and opposition parties to ‘cooperate and not organise programs where crowds gather’.
“Do not conduct agitations for few days which will create crowding. From tomorrow all government meetings, large-scale protests, religious gatherings, political tours will not be allowed,” he said.