Strict restrictions in Maharashtra on the advice of Centre, experts: Pawar
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday urged the people to cooperate with the state administration amid opposition to strict norms put in place to curb a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the state.
“Maharashtra has never been in such a serious and alarming situation. The Covid cases are rising sharply. The health infrastructure is under stress. The state government decided to impose strict restrictions following the advice of the health experts as there were no other options left. The central government too has urged the state government to take some strict decisions,” he said in his live address to the people on Facebook.
Pawar, who said the Centre has extended its full cooperation to the state, spoke to Union health minister Harsh Vardhan over the situation. “We discussed the shortfall [of vaccines] and he [Vardhan] assured that the Centre and Union health ministry will stand with the state.”
On Wednesday, state health minister Rajesh Tope said the state is facing a shortage of Covid-19 vaccine doses and had to shut down many vaccination centres. His comments sparked a war of words when Vardhan accused Maharashtra of politicising the issue. Vardhan criticised the state government for “misgovernance and “utter casual approach” in battling the virus.
Pawar, whose party is a part of the state government, said he understands discontent over the restrictions as people have to face difficulties. “But if we want success, then patience is the only key. ...the state government had to take some harsh decisions due to unavoidable circumstances and to save lives of the people.”
Maharashtra is the worst Covid-19-hit state in the country with daily cases reaching close to the 60,000-mark. On Wednesday, 59,907 cases were reported, pushing the count to over three million.
The state government has imposed a night and weekend curfew. It has closed down all non-essentials businesses and asked most offices to switch to remote working to check the surge in Covid-19 cases. At no point can over five people gather outdoors and at places of worship, malls, etc. Restaurants have been allowed to serve only takeaway food. The fresh restrictions will remain till April 30.