No lockdown yet but people should not be negligent: Maharashtra Minister Wadettiwar

Mumbai: Notwithstanding the rise in COVID 19 cases, the Maharashtra Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation Vijay Wadettiwar and Task Force member Dr Nitin Karnik in separate statements have said the state government has not yet considered imposition of a fresh lockdown. However, both were unanimous in one thing it will be inevitable if the people continue to flout the COVID1 19 norms including use of face masks and sanitizer and keep safe public distance. Wadettiwar in the meanwhile made a strong case of implementation of strict restrictions in a serious bid to curb the virus infection.

Wadettiwar said the timings of the Mumbai suburban trains will have to be rescheduled and the services may have to be reduced to control crowding. The minister said the closure of cinema houses may be one of the options. In addition, the civic and district administration will step up a vigil on the marriage halls to take action against the violation of COVID 19 norms.

Wadettiwar said the government may consider an option of conducting online examinations. He was referring to the Tamil Nadu government which has announced to pass all students due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, Dr Karnik warned that if the people continue to show carelessness the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackery may declare a fresh lockdown. He cited that the corona cases were showing a surge among youths from the age category of 15 to 25 which is quite serious. The events including parties, weddings and gatherings should be reduced as they are witnessing crowding and people moving without masks. He noted that the next 10 days are crucial in Mumbai.

Wadettiwar and Karnik statements come on a day when 8,333 coronavirus positive cases were detected with a fatality rate of 2.43% in the state.

A senior public health department officer pointed out that the state government is geo-mapping hot spots and they are being put in containment zones. ‘’ The lockdown decision is being left to the local administration if there is lack of adherence to COVID 19 appropriate behaviour,’’ he said.

Another Task Force member Dr Shashank Joshi suggested that double masking, distancing, reverse isolating vulnerable groups must be done in hot spots which need to be converted rapidly in green zones with public health measures.

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