Mumbai: The Maharashtra government would impose a fresh lockdown in the state in the event of a surge in cases, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray warned on Sunday. Speaking after flag-hoisting on Independence Day at Mantralaya on Sunday, the CM exhorted people to strictly follow Covid norms though the state government had relaxed Level 3 restrictions by allowing the fully vaccinated people to commute in Mumbai trains and shops to stay open until 10 pm.
“If the situation worsens, the state may have to impose a lockdown again”, said Thackeray. His warning came days after the state government issued modifications in the ‘Break the Chain’ order saying that the daily oxygen requirement for Covid patients would be the deciding factor to impose a lockdown in the future. If oxygen requirement reached 700 metric tonnes, lockdown would be imposed again, he declared.
Thackeray said the Covid crisis was not over but very much existent, having revived again in some countries it has raised its head again. “The coronavirus pandemic has been in the state for the last one-and-a-half years and the government is trying to get rid of it. The government has relaxed restrictions but wants to reiterate here that the crisis still prevails. We all have to be very careful to avoid another outbreak by adhering to Covid protocol and other curbs. There should be no laxity,” he noted.
Further, Thackeray said the state government was currently involved in the expansion and strengthening of the health infrastructure. “However, lack of adequate oxygen is a concern. Only after taking into account the oxygen stock has the state government relaxed restrictions. Even after the relaxations are announced, necessary restrictions and norms will have to be observed. If oxygen consumption exceeds 700 metric tonnes, the state will implement a fresh lockdown,” he said.
He called upon the citizens to take a pledge to overcome the Covid crisis. “Let us all resolve together that we will make Maharashtra and the country pandemic-free so that we can celebrate the next Independence Day without masks and with much zeal and enthusiasm.
Thackeray, who was accompanied by Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil, paid tribute to the corona warriors who had lost their lives while combating the virus. He also interacted with the doctors and nurses who are working 24x7 to curb the virus infection in the state.
He hoisted the flag at his official residence and later attended another flag-hoisting at Bombay High Court. Chief Justice Dipankar Datta handed over a cheque of Rs 3,41,98,597 crore to Thackeray towards the CM Relief Fund after the ceremony.
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