Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said Monday the health of citizens was a priority and celebrations could be held later as well, with fears of a third wave occurring amid an upcoming festive season in the country. The state has also been recording a higher number of cases.
The Chief Minister, along with several other senior cabinet ministers, took part in the Disaster management meeting held Monday. “We can celebrate festivals later. Let us prioritise the lives and health of our citizens. The situation can go out of hand in view of the spike in daily cases,” he said in a statement.
“Who would like to impose restrictions on festivals and religious programmes? But people’s lives are important,” he said.
Thackeray has directed the cancellation of all social, religious, and political gatherings and meetings, as experts say crowding could lead to a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra.
The CM said if everyone followed Covid-19 norms such as wearing masks, distancing and avoiding gatherings, there would not be a need for fresh restrictions to be imposed. “One has to be prepared for the third wave as we saw how the entire country had to suffer during the second wave, largely due to less supply of oxygen,” Thackeray said.
Thackeray said the upcoming festive days were crucial and challenging. The onus is on political parties to ensure things do not go out of control, he said.
The CM further said the “third wave of COVID-19 is at our doorsteps”.
“Kerala is seeing a spike of 30,000 cases daily. This is a danger signal and if we don’t take it seriously, Maharashtra will have to pay a heavy price,” he added.