Thackeray warns against violation of COVID-19 norms before Ganesh Chaturthi
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday urged the citizens and political parties to avoid crowds in light of upcoming festivities. Thackeray said that the spike in Kerala after Onam celebrations is a "danger signal" and Maharashtra may end up paying a "heavy price" if crowds continue to gather celebrations for the Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi on September 10. Here are more details.
As Maharashtra gears up for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations are set to begin this week, Thackeray warned against violations of COVID-19 appropriate behavior. The seven-day rolling average of infections in Maharashtra was recorded at roughly 4,100 on Monday. Infections have been slowly declining in the state, which reports the highest number of cumulative infections across India.
Thackeray said, "Kerala is seeing a spike of 30,000 cases daily. This is a danger signal and if we don't take it seriously, Maharashtra will have to pay a heavy price," he said. On Sunday, he had said, "There was a surge in COVID-19 cases after festivals last year. I request all to avoid crowding. Wearing a face mask is important even after vaccination."
Addressing political parties, Thackeray said the well-being of citizens is more important than celebrations that can happen later. "The situation can go out of hand in view of the spike in daily cases," he said. He reminded people that COVID-19 has not been "defeated" yet, adding that the state should not find itself in a position where it makes norms stricter.
Thackeray further said that restrictions henceforth will be eased on the basis of oxygen availability. He added that the state's citizens can either help prevent or invite a "third wave" of COVID-19. On Sunday, Thackeray had also said, "Do not agitate for reopening of temples but do it against COVID-19." The remark came after the Opposition BJP protested against the closure of temples.