Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray expressed concern over the slow pace of Covid-19 vaccination on Sunday, saying that the issue would be discussed at a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 3. Thackeray said that the availability of vaccines was not an issue but people were hesitant and they should now come forward.
“In Maharashtra, the state had set a record of administering 15 lakh vaccine doses daily but now the number ranges between 3.50 lakh and 5 lakh per day. In Mumbai, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation has administered 100 per cent first doses and 60 per cent second doses. I also appeal to the press and media to focus on this issue so that people can get themselves fully vaccinated,” said Thackeray in an informal chat with a group of senior editors at his official residence Varsha.
Thackeray admitted that the government could not force people to take the vaccine but could appeal to them to be vaccinated at the earliest, especially in the wake of new Covid variants detected globally. He reiterated that the coronavirus pandemic still existed and against this backdrop, RT-PCR testing, masking and vaccination would continue to be around.
The state has reported s cumulative vaccination of 9,80,89,958 and has vaccinated more than three crores of the population, the highest for any state in the country.
The CM said the government could reduce the impact of a possible third wave if the people were to strictly follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, including wearing masks, observing social distancing and sanitisation. “The government has taken a calculated risk in the relaxation of curbs and it will continue to do so in a bid to revive economic activity. However, despite being fully vaccinated, wearing a mask is important to combat Covid-19 and curb the spread of the virus,” he noted.
Thackeray said Covid-19 has put a lot of pressure on the state economy, adding that this was not just in Maharashtra or India but across the world.
On Sunday, 1,172 new cases and 20 deaths were reported in Maharashtra. The recovery rate is 97.57 per cent while there are 16,658 active cases with progressive deaths reported at 1,40,216 in the state.
Amid the rising threat of global warming and climate change, Thackeray argued that the government would have to take short-, medium- and long-term measures to tackle nature’s fury because of it. “The state government has a roadmap to deal with climate change and global warming. However, there is a need for the people to cooperate with the government in its implementation,” he added.
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