The Maharashtra government has imposed a 15-day Janata Curfew after the Covid-19 situation worsened in the state. CM Uddhav Thackeray said that it won’t be a complete lockdown but stricter restrictions will be put in place starting 8 pm on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Maharashtra reported 60,212 new cases of Covid-19, which is a first since the pandemic started last year. It was a significant rise from Monday’s record of 51,751 cases.
In a virtual address to the state’s citizens, the CM highlighted that strict lockdown-like measures are aimed at breaking the chain of infections. Section 144 has been imposed in the state and only essential services will be allowed during the Janata Curfew.
People would not be allowed to travel within the state without valid reasons. Even though the state government is not shutting down public transport services, they will be used only by people working in essential services. Essential services will also be allowed to operate only between 7 am and 8 pm.
Doctors, people working in healthcare and emergency, accredited journalists, and essential industries like banking and agriculture will be allowed to operate. Restaurants and hotels will be shut down but takeaway and home delivery services are permitted. Roadside food stalls can also stay open, but only for takeaway.
After the by-elections in Pandharpur, the curbs will be enforced there too.
The CM said that the state has demarcated Rs 5,400 crore for various schemes to be implemented during the pandemic.
The Maharashtra government will provide 3 kg wheat and 2 kg rice to the needy people in the state for the next month, free of cost. The government will also provide Shiv Bhojan free of cost. Earlier, it was charging Rs 5 and Rs 10 per thali.
Each labourer registered with the state government’s labour department will be given Rs 1,500. The same benefit will be given to registered domestic workers, hawkers and auto drivers. The state will extend the same to tribal people during the lockdown too.
Thackeray also said that the Centre needs to provide aid to people affected by the pandemic on the lines of aid given for people affected by natural calamities. “I will also request PM Narendra Modi to announce a relief package for the poor and needy people,” he said.
The Centre should also give back their GST compensations as the money is needed for the crisis situation, said the CM. “I will write to him and even make a phone call,” he said.
“I even appealed to the PM to call a meeting with all party leaders. People should not do politics during a pandemic. We can do politics later on. Now, saving the lives of the people is very important,” he shared.
He also said that the state is under pressure and has a shortage of oxygen supply and Remdesivir. He also said that PM Narendra Modi has permitted bringing in oxygen from places but they are far away and it is difficult. “I will also consult with the Centre and see whether oxygen can be brought by airway.” He added that 40,000-50,000 Remdesivir injections are being used in the state per day. “If positive cases continue to increase, then our demand for this injection will go up to one lakh per month.”
“The second wave is more dangerous than the first wave, therefore, we have to fight against it consistently by vaccinating as many people as possible,” said the CM Thackeray, also appealing to retired nurses and doctors to join hands with the state government and fight the virus.
“The situation is not good, we are focusing on improving the health infrastructure. But we will win the war against Covid,” he said.