Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday held virtual meetings with owners of multiplexes, gyms and newspapers in the state and appealed to them to join the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Maharashtra on Friday reported 47,827 new cases, the highest daily rise in around six-and-a-half-months, and a big chunk of the 89,129 new cases in a day recorded in India.
In an online interaction with newspaper owners, editors and distributors, Thackeray also said a decision on imposing stringent measures to tackle the pandemic will be taken soon but did not confirm if there will be a statewide lockdown.
Thackeray had last week asked officials to prepare a plan for implementation of a lockdown which will have a minimum impact on the economy on the recommendation of the state COVID-19 task force.
The constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government have also spoken in different voices on the need for a fresh lockdown in Maharashtra with some leaders of the NCP and the Shiv Sena questioning the effectiveness of such strategy against the epidemic. NCP leader and Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said imposing a lockdown is the last option for the state government.
Tope’s cabinet colleague and NCP leader Nawab Malik, questioned the effectiveness of a lockdown in arresting the spread of coronavirus infection. “Imposition of a lockdown will affect the people adversely. We do not want people to suffer,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)