Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said the state government will impose a fresh lockdown if there will be a surge in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra. In his address after flag hoisting on the occasion of Independence Day today at the Mantralaya, CM urged the citizens to strictly follow COIVD 19 norms even though the state government has relaxed Level 3 restrictions by allowing the fully vaccinated people to commute in Mumbai trains and opening of shops up to 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 BreakTheChain order saying that the daily oxygen requirement for COVID-19 patients will be the deciding factor for imposing lockdown in the future. If the oxygen requirement reaches 700 metric tons, lockdown will be imposed again.
Thackeray said the COVID-19 crisis is not over but it still exists as in some countries it has revived again. "The coronavirus pandemic has been in the state for last one and half year 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 the COVID 19 protocol and other curbs. There should not be any laxity," he noted.
CM said the state government is currently involved in the expansion and strengthening of the health infrastructure. "However, lack of adequate oxygen is a concern. Only after taking into the oxygen stock, the state government has relaxed restrictions. Even after the relaxations are announced, necessary restrictions and norms will have to be observed. If the oxygen consumption exceeds 700 metric tonnes, the state will implement a fresh lockdown," he added.
Thackeray called upon the citizens to take a pledge to together overcome the COVID 19 crisis. "Let us all resolve together that we will make Maharashtra and the country pandemic-free so that we can celebrate next Independence Day without masks and with much zeal and enthusiasm."
CM, who was accompanied by Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil, paid tribute to the corona warriors who lost their lives while combating the virus. He also interacted with the doctors and nurses who are working 24x7 to curb virus infection in the state.
CM hoisted the flag at his official residence and later attended flag hoisting at the Bombay High Court. The Chief Justice Dipankar Datta after the flag hoisting handed over the cheque of Rs 3,41,98,597 crore to Thackeray towards the CM’s Relief Fund.