Maha CM Uddhav Thackeray
Maha CM Uddhav Thackeray

Mumbai: Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday asked people not to be complacent and careless as lack of discipline can trigger a second or a third wave -- "like a tsunami".

In his web address, he urged citizens to strictly follow Covid norms and cited the recent surge elsewhere in the country and the recurring lockdowns in the western countries to buttress his point.

‘‘Don't think Covid is over. Don't be so careless. Be in western countries, Delhi or Ahmedabad. This second and third wave is strong like a tsunami. Ahmedabad has even enforced night curfews," Thackeray said.

He insisted the government is capable of tackling the evolving situation but urged the citizens to support them in their endeavour. Thackeray did not announce either night curfew or a fresh lockdown but urged people to show restraint. ‘‘We are at a crossroads. I don't want to go through the motions of any lockdown again,’’ he stressed.

He also admitted that even though the state government has allowed reopening of schools for 9th to 12th classes, uncertainty looms large, owing to detection of fresh cases.

The Chief Minister also frowned at many people for not adhering to social distancing norms and moving around without masks amid the surge. He also noted that crowding has increased after Diwali and cautioned against it. "But I am a bit angry with you all. I had repeatedly said that after Diwali there will be overcrowding. Covid is not dying because of overcrowding. In fact, it is going to grow,’’ he said.

Thackeray further stated, ‘‘The vaccine is still not out, and we don't know when it will be. Even if it comes out in December, when will it come to Maharashtra? Maharashtra has 12 crore people. And the vaccine dose needs to be given twice. So, we will need a vaccine for 25 crore people. So, please take care of yourself. It will take time."

Thackeray also slammed the BJP for demanding further relaxation in curbs and asked whether it was ready to assume responsibility if the situation aggravates.

"If we don't have enough beds, our healthcare workers get infected, and then nobody can save us. This is not the case right now, but we have to be still very careful. We have still not been able to open schools," the Chief Minister added.

The state government has opened temples and other places of worship, he acknowledged. ‘’But there are reports that at Sai Temple in Shirdi more devotees had turned up. It should be avoided. People have also responded to our appeal during Chhath Puja celebrations. Kartiki Ekadashi is in a few days and I appeal to the ‘wakaris’ not to gather in large numbers,’’ he added.

Thackeray recalled that "in the past we celebrated all our festivals with caution. Be it Ganeshotsav or Dussehra. You all are cooperating with me. Before Diwali, I requested you to not to burst crackers and you followed my directive. And because of this, the war against Covid is in our control."

The CM’s web address coincided with Maharashtra on Sunday reporting 5,753 coronavirus positive cases and 50 deaths.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal