Headlines July 26, 2020
Maharashtra CM cautions against lifting lockdown
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has warned against lifting the coronavirus lockdown too soon. He said that countries in the West which had done so were forced to re-impose restrictions when they realised the virus was still spreading.
In ab interview to Shiv Sena party newspaper Saamna“, Thackeray warned Mumbai residents where the city appears to have kept the outbreak under control. He said people should not let their guard down.
He said that countries like Australia that had lifted restrictions were being forced to bring back the lockdown.
Everyone says open and unlock things and that the economy is under threat. Yes, I agree. But will these people take responsibility if many people get infected or die? Are you ready to let people die for the economy? I am not Donald Trump. I cannot see my people suffer in front of my eyes. – Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra Chief Minister
Thackeray said he was going to reopen things slowly. “I agree people are tired but I can’t open everything at once. We are calling this a pandemic because no one has any quick fix for this”.
Maharashtra is India’s worst-affected state with over 3.57 lakh cases, of which 1.44 lakh are active infections and over 13,000 are deaths linked to the virus.
Mumbai, which has over 1 lakh cases, and Pune, which is nearing the 70,000-mark, are both badly hit. However, while infections in Mumbai seem to be dropping, those in Pune are spiking.
“I don’t want to comment so early (the COVID-19 situation in Mumbai). If we believe it is under control, we will get relaxed. And I’m worried about that,” the Chief Minister said about the city, while also pointing out that containment measures in Dharavi had been so successful as to earn praise from the WHO.
Mr Thackeray also praised the state’s overall response to the pandemic, which has infected over 13.36 lakh in the country and killed more than 31,000.
HE said Maharashtra did not require help from the Army. “We built field hospitals and ramped up medical capacities. We held meetings and worked accordingly. I am proud of my government”.
Maharashtra, like Delhi, has cancelled final year exams for state-run institutions. Central colleges will have their exams in September – a decision the Yuva Sena, the youth wing of Shiv Sena has challenged in the Supreme Court.
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