Don’t Want to Impose Full Lockdown, Clarifies Uddhav Thackeray as Maharashtra Tightens Curbs to Rein in Omicron

After imposing fresh restrictions in the face of surging COVID-19 cases, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said his government wanted to prevent health services from coming under excessive pressure. The state government earlier in the evening banned movement of people in groups of five or more during daytime and prohibited all movement in public at night except for essential services with effect from January 10 midnight.

Thackeray said he had directed the authorities to take strict action against those who violate Covid appropriate behaviour (CAB) norms. He appealed to people not to become “corona messengers” and endanger lives of others.

“We have been fighting the virus for the last two years and have successfully dealt with two waves of the pandemic by taking cautious steps. The virus, in a different avatar, has been spreading rapidly,” the CM said.”Instead of discussing whether it is mild or serious, we need to take steps to stop it, else our health infrastructure will be under tremendous pressure,” he said.

He did not wish to impose a complete lockdown, Thackeray said. “We don’t want to harm livelihood but want to prevent crowding. When restrictions were eased last year, some people continued to follow health protocols but others were complacent and irresponsible. This will not be tolerated,” the CM said. There was enough medical infrastructure in place, but if doctors and nurses fell sick, “where do we bring human resources from,” he asked.

Referring to the closure of educational institutions, he said steps are being taken to ensure that education is not hampered, and online education will continue. Thackeray also appealed to people to get vaccinated at the earliest.Curbs can be made stricter in districts where vaccination is low, he warned.

With PTI inputs

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