The state of Maharashtra is exploding with new corona cases every single day. 51,751 new cases and 258 deaths were recorded by the state in the past 24 hours. Amidst rising concerns, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut while addressing the media blamed people coming from other states for the spike in Covid-19 cases in the state.
He further claimed that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray leading the Maharashtra government is the most efficient authority governing the state right now. Raut while declaring Maharashtra’s health infrastructure to be the best in the country said that despite the rise in cases, the situation will be brought under control at the earliest under the leadership of CM Uddhav Thackeray.
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Sanjay Raut went a step ahead to blame the Uttarakhand government for permitting Kumbh Mela while on the other hand, lauded the Maharashtra government for imposing stringent restrictions on the festival of Gudi Padva which is being celebrated today across the state.
“It is painful for the Shiv Sena to put restrictions on our festivals and religious celebrations but the party dares to do so to save the lives of people. Our priority is to save as many lives as possible. I believe that people coming from the Kumbh mela will cause further spread of COVID-19 cases, which will cause havoc,” Raut said.
Maharashtra Cabinet minister Aslam Sheikh was also heard singing the same tune. In a video interaction, he compared the congregation at Kumbh Mela to Tablighi Jamaat. Citing devotees returning from Kumbh Mela as a potential threat, he said, “There will be strict SOPs for upcoming festivals. Otherwise, you can see how there is a rise in COVID-19 cases due to permission by a government for Haridwar Kumbh. They are the same people who defamed Tablighi Jamaat and accused them of spreading the disease.”
It is imperative to note that the Kumbh Mela under the Uttarakhand government is taking place with strict rules and regulations. A Covid-19 negative RT-PCR report, not more than 72 hours prior to arrival, has been mandatory for attending the festival. In addition, all entry-points to Uttarakhand have Covid-19 testing points.
it is pertinent to mention here that Maharashtra has been consistently far ahead than any other state in contributing to the Covid-19 tally in the country. They have consistently managed to contribute over 30% of daily new for months on end. Therefore, Sanjay Raut to turn around and blame others for the situation in Maharashtra does not make any sense.
Prepare for lockdown says Maharashtra’s Health Minister
No amount of curbs or restrictions has been able to flatten the curve in Maharashtra. As a result, Maharashtra’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope has confirmed that a lockdown will be imposed in the state soon.
“Prior information will be given to people before the lockdown is implemented. At this point of time all that I would want to say to the residents of the state is that they should mentally prepare themselves for a lockdown,” informed Tope.
Last week, the state government imposed additional restrictions, including weekend lockdown and night curfew, to contain the spread of COVID-19 but nothing seems to be working. The state has been unsuccessful in getting the public to abide by the Covid-19 restriction norms.
BJP, which is the opposition party in the state, is still opposing a full lockdown.
Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis remarked, “I can understand locking and unlocking (to contain the spread of coronavirus) is important but when a lockdown is imposed, people lose their jobs. Unfortunately, the state government is not at all conscious about providing financial help to the (vulnerable) people.”
The MVA government is likely to announce its decision on lockdown after the state cabinet meeting which is scheduled for April 14.