A day after leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis (BJP) criticised the Maha Vikas Aghadi government's handling of the pandemic and alleged corruption in the implementation of various measures, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray strongly defended the work done by the state government and BMC in particular to combat the virus despite initial hiccups.
At the function for the release of a book on BMC commissioner Iqbal Chahal, the CM said he had no experience of administration but he showed full confidence and faith in the abilities of Chahal who worked hard to effectively tackle the situation in Mumbai. ‘’A year ago temples were closed while ambulance sirens were heard everywhere. There was a paucity of doctors and medicines. There was shortage of oxygen but the government and BMC stepped in and effectively handled the situation,’’ he noted.
‘’In the COVID-19 crisis in Mumbai, everyone from commissioners to cleaning workers worked tirelessly to fight the pandemic. The success story of 'Mumbai Model' which brought Covid under control during this period will be presented to the world through the book 'Iqbal Singh Chahal - Covid Warrior', stated Thackeray.
Thackeray said the coronavirus pandemic time was a test as the world had no experience fighting it. ‘’I Instructed to start Covid Center in March 2020 and the first Jumbo Covid Hospital in the country at Bandra Kurla Complex was started by the BMC in just 15 days. All of them did a very difficult job at that time,’’ he noted.
‘’We went on learning and doing things one by one, including appointing a doctor's task force. During the lockdown, workers walked to their homes and the government started relief camps and handed out food packets to them. The government made repeated requests to the Centre to ply special trains for the transportation of migrant workers. There were many issues like reversing the economic cycle. There was no supply of oxygen, the corporation took care that there would be no deaths due to lack of oxygen and evacuated one and a half hundred patients who could be put on oxygen,’’’said Thackeray.
Thackeray said BMC’s work to contain virus spread and thereby bring down the COVID-19 cases in densely populated Dharavi was appreciated all over the world. ‘’Hospitals, bed management, ambulances and many other measures were taken. We have been able to present the success story of Covid to the world,’’ he added.