Maharashtra needs to prepare for 3rd Covid wave after easing curbs, says Aaditya Thackeray
As the Maharashtra government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are ramping up medical infrastructure for the projected third wave of Covid-19, state environment minister and guardian minister of Mumbai suburbs, Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday said the state needs to start preparing for the third wave as soon as restrictions begin to ease.
“When the third wave will hit us depends on us; as soon as we start opening things, we need to start preparing for the third wave,” Thackeray said. He was speaking at the launching of the report ‘Turning the Tide: Is Mumbai Ready for the Next Wave?’ by Mumbai-based Observer Research Foundation (ORF), via video conferencing on Saturday afternoon.
The report captures lessons and learning from Mumbai’s experience with dealing with two waves during the Covid-19 pandemic and examines its preparedness to handle the projected third wave and the city-wise vaccination drive.
Regarding easing of the present restrictions in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra, Thackeray said, “We are being painfully slow, because at least as per our reading, it is here that the Delta strain originated. Maharashtra has been honest and transparent with reporting its [Covid] numbers. The real success lies in counting real numbers, identifying patients on time, getting them to the hospital, and then safely home.”
Maharashtra has had success in dealing with the social response to the Covid-19 crisis as well, according to Thackeray.
Speaking on the issue of migrant labour being displaced during the first wave of the pandemic, Thackeray said, “There is a larger policy issue at hand here, ...about housing, transit camps for the floating population in the form of migrant labour. But the social aspects of the pandemic, finding food, shelter, and psychological security for migrant labour are challenges we have addressed.”
He also addressed the need to have a Covid-19 recovery master plan for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) region, and other crucial pockets of thriving commerce across the state, such as the Nagpur Metropolitan Region. “With the other aspect of when it comes to infrastructure development and amenities, we have to look at a unified approach at least city wise, if not MMR wise. One city one administration is a better approach,” Thackeray said.