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COVID-19: Nothing worse than imposing restrictions on your own people, says CM Uddhav Thackeray | Mumbai News – Times of India

MUMBAI: Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday asked the people of Maharashtra to prepare for a third wave of Covid-19 and cautioned them against letting their guard down. In his address to the state, Uddhav said it pains him to impose restrictions on the people but they are necessary given the Covid-19 situation.
Here are the key points of the chief minister’s address …
Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra
Speaking on the Covid-19 situation and lockdown-like restrictions in Maharashtra, Thackeray said, “I don’t think that there is anything worse than having to impose restrictions on your own people. It is a very tough decision that we had to take because the safety of our citizens is the most important thing for us.
“As per the data, the numbers have dropped indeed, but not as much as we would want it to. We have a 92 per cent recovery rate which is a very good sign. But even then, we are at the levels of last year’s peak.”
He noted there are still some districts in the state where numbers are on the rise which is a worrying sign. “The numbers are ebbing in the cities but in some districts it is on the rise,” he added.
Noting that the Covid-19 variant which has been infecting people this year is different from the one last year, the CM said, “There is a difference between the variant last time and the one this time. It is more virulent. It is spreading fast and taking longer for the patient to recover.”
‘Tightrope walk’
He went on to say, “We know this variant is more virulent. If it goes out of control, we will have a really tough time. We can increase beds, but oxygen and shortage of doctors will hit us. So we cannot let our guard down.”
Lockdown-like restrictions to stay for now
“We have to increase our current restrictions by 15 days. But the administration will be taking stock of the situation district-wise too. Now there will be those who may threaten to come out on the streets and protest if the curbs are not eased. I only want to urge them to not invite or support the third wave. Don’t be a ‘corona-doot’ (ambassador for Covid-19), be a corona-warrior,” he said.
“I am not in favour of continuing with these restrictions but given the virulent variant, we have to take some strict steps. Keep your loved ones in mind when you decide to step out,” he said, signing off.
Addressing the rising cases of mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, he said: “Now we have a new devil to deal with – the black fungus. We have 3,000 cases of mucormycosis in the state today. Our doctors have told us that one of the main reasons for this could be steroid use. The task force is closely keeping a track of this.”
‘Must prepare for third wave’
Highlighting the importance of family doctors, the CM said that he spoke to a number of such doctors and appealed to them to help the state.
“Monsoon will be here soon, and identifying Covid-19 and non-Covid patients is crucial. So the role these doctors will play will be very important. Family doctors will help us ensure that those who need immediate medical attention get it by getting to the hospital in time. They will also help avoid unnecessary hospitalisation where a person can instead isolate at home,” he said.
Besides, the state and its people must also be prepared for the third Covid-19 wave, he said.
Speaking on the vaccination of those in the age group of 18 to 44 years, Uddhav said that the state requires 12 crore doses since nearly 6 crore people are eligible for a vaccine shot.
“Production has not yet reached levels that would make the situation comfortable for us. As we get more doses, we will expand the drive. There was a shortage of doses so we had to stop the 18-44 inoculation drive, but we will soon resume it. We are slowly rolling out vaccines for students who are set to travel abroad for studies,” he said.
‘National policy for Class 12 students’
Urging the Centre to take a call on the examinations for Class 12 students, Thackeray said that while Maharashtra has already cancelled SSC board exams, they are still assessing the situation for holding HSC board exams.
“Class 12 exams are crucial for the future of students. I think it’s better for the Centre to take a call for the whole nation. It helps to have a uniform decision to follow. We should have a national policy on this. I will write to PM Modi if need be,” he said.
“It’s high time we take some radical decisions on the education front too. Is there something like work-from-home that can be figured out in the education sector as well?” he added.
Corona-mukt villages
Stressing on the need to protect rural areas from Covid, Thackeray said efforts must be taken to ensure “corona-mukt” villages in the state.
“Our fight is not over yet. If everyone decides to work towards ‘corona-mukt village’ and if everyone decides to do this at their own home — ‘corona-mukt ghar’, then victory can be achieved.
Lauding the efforts of the sarpanch of the three ‘corona-free’ villages of Maharashtra — Mohol, Hiware Bazaar and a village from south Solapur, the CM said that he will speak to them and take tips on how they successfully managed to ward of the virus from their respective villages.
He also said that even though there will be no restrictions for the agriculture sector, people must follow the guidelines and take precautions religiously.
Keeping the economy running
Thackeray also said that he will be meeting people from the industrial sector this week.
“We need to make sure things move on the economic front. We had tried to bring in relaxations in the interim period between the two waves and we have seen what happened as a result of that.”
Children orphaned due to Covid
Announcing that the state will look after those who lost their parents and guardians to Covid-19, Thackeray said, “The second wave was much bigger than the first. We have seen children orphaned. We have lost our friends and family members. For those who have been orphaned, the state will take up their responsibility. We are working on a plan and will announce it soon.”
Cyclone Tauktae
Addressing the state after a month, he said that Maharashtra has been seeing a rise in the number of cyclones of late.
“A few days ago, we faced cyclone Tauktae. It was one of the fiercest in the last few decades. It largely spared our shores but impacted the Gujarat coast. We are seeing an increase in the frequency of these. Last year we had faced cyclone Nisarga,” he shared.
“Handling Covid-19 and a cyclone like this at the same time is challenging. The cyclone has left its impact on some coastal parts of the state. I visited the Konkan coast where the cyclone had wreaked havoc. We have assessed the damage and compensation will also be rolled out. But if this is something that is now becoming a regular feature, then we need to also plan for this in advance and if needed, even take steps to make arrangements in these areas,” he added.
He informed that the state officials have been communicating about the same with the Centre as well, and necessary steps will be taken soon.


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