‘To not cause confusion’: Aaditya Thackeray deletes tweet on free Covid-19 vaccination in Maharashtra
Maharashtra tourism and environment minister Aaditya Thackeray tweeted on Sunday the government will not charge any resident of the state for the vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) only to delete the post later. “The Govt of Maharashtra has decided to vaccinate its citizens free of cost. This is not something that we think of as a choice, but a duty that we consider of utmost importance: protecting the citizens from Covid,” Thackeray said in his initial tweet.
However, minutes later he deleted the tweet and said in another post that he did not want to create any confusion regarding the “official vaccination policy of Maharashtra that would be fully ensuring fast, efficient vaccination and would leave nobody behind.”
“The official policy of vaccination will be declared by the empowered committee and we must await it’s recommendation for a fair policy for all sections of society. My apologies for the confusion if it all it may have caused,” the Maharashtra cabinet minister said in the follow-up tweet.
However, before Thackeray, Maharashtra’s minority minister Nawab Malik said on Sunday the Maha-Vikas Aghadi led-government will vaccinate the entire state’s population above the age of 18 years free of cost and that global tenders will be invited for the vaccination drive. The state currently has 57.1 million residents between the ages of 18 to 44.
On the other hand, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said on Saturday those beneficiaries who can afford the vaccine dose should pay for it and the government will pay on behalf of the poorer sections.
Maharashtra has so far administered vaccine doses to 14,230,213 of which more than 12.3 million people have been given the first dose and 1,903,207 have been given both doses, according to the Union health ministry’s update at 7am. The state worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic has added over 4.22 million cases, 63,928 deaths and 3,468,610 recoveries till now. On Saturday, 676 people died while 67,160 more people were found to be infected.
Maharashtra, apart from being placed under Section 144 which will remain valid till May 1, is also under strict restrictions on inter-city and inter-district travel, office attendance and weddings from April 22 till May 1.