Won’t Lift Lockdown Just To Address Economic Concerns: Uddhav Thackeray
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said that he was not in favour of complete lifting of the coronavirus-induced lockdown in the state only to address the economic concerns.
He said there was a need to strike a balance between the issues related to health and economy considering the challenge posed by the pandemic.
"I will never say that the lockdown will be lifted completely. But I have started reopening a few things gradually. Once reopened, it shouldn't be shut again. Hence, I prefer taking steps in phases. You can't just think about economy or health. There needs to be a balance between the two," he said.
Thackeray made this statement in an interview published in Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' on Saturday.
The ongoing lockdown in the state will continue till July 31. From June onward, the government had started lifting the restrictions in phase-wise manner under its 'Mission Begin Again' initiative.
"This pandemic is a global war. It has affected the entire world. Those countries which had lifted the lockdown in haste thinking that it was over, were again forced to impose it to curb the spread. In Australia, they had to rope in the Army," he said.
Many people are opposing lockdown. They say that lockdown is affecting the economy. To such people, I would say that I am ready to lift the lockdown, but if people die due to it, would you take the responsibility?...Even we are concerned about the economy.Uddhav Thackeray, Chief Minister, Maharashtra
On the restarting of the suburban railway network in Mumbai, he said, "What if families fall ill and their houses are sealed? Therefore, everything would be done step-by-step."
Talking about the coronavirus situation in Mumbai, he said, "There was never a need to call the Army in Mumbai. I am proud of the administration which rose to the challenge and set up jumbo field hospitals for treatment of coronavirus patients in the city."
Speaking about the criticism that he has not been to the Mantralaya, the state secretariat, during the pandemic, the chief minister said that technology helps people in doing all the work and there was no need to travel.
"I am not bothered what critics say till people trust me. I am honest with my work," he added.
On starting the academic year during the pandemic, Thackeray said e-learning was the only option.