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‘CM was asked to consider other options’ – NCP’s Malik as Maharashtra government considers closure | India News

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NEW DELHI: A day after Maharashtra Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray called on officials to “prepare for a lockdown,” senior PNC leader Nawab Malik said Monday that government leaders from Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) had asked him to “consider other options.”
“We cannot afford the lockdown. We have asked the CM to consider other options. Due to the increase in cases, it has directed the administration to prepare for the lockdown, but that does not mean that the lockdown is inevitable,” Malik said, according to ANI.
The Maharashtra minister added that a lockdown can be avoided if people follow social distancing rules and regulations.

On Sunday, Thackeray met with the state task force and asked Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte to immediately develop a strategy for the “last resort” of a shutdown.
“The government was struggling to keep the economy afloat amid the pandemic. However, several factors are not being seriously considered, ”Thackeray said at the meeting, which was also attended by Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope and the Secretary General.

“Ultimately, people’s health is our highest priority. Therefore, the chief secretary must plan a closure strategy to ensure that the supply of basic goods, including cereals and medicines, and health services is not hindered. This is what we have to do if people don’t follow the (Covid) rules, ”he said.
Maharashtra has reported an alarming increase in coronavirus cases in recent days.
By Sunday, the state had reported a record 40,414 new infections. The numbers fell slightly on Monday and Maharashtra reported 31,643 new cases. However, this is likely due to the testing shortage over the weekend.
‘The blockade is not a solution’
Meanwhile, the state BJP has said that the lockdown is not a solution to curb the Covid situation and warned of protests if the Maharashtra government goes ahead with the decision.
“The blockade is not the solution. We will protest against the blockade. If the blockade is imposed, the government should announce a package to the people affected by the blockade,” Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil told reporters.
BJP leader and former Rajya Sabha MP Amar Sable alleged that the MVA government led by Uddhav Thackeray has failed to control the second wave of Covid-19 in the state.
Speaking to ANI, Sable said: “The second wave of Covid-19 in Maharashtra has wreaked havoc. Right now, saving people’s lives and providing relief to the public should be the government’s highest priority, but unfortunately that is it’s not happening. ”
(With inputs from agencies)

Times of India

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