The Asian Age

Stop unnecessar­y travel: Uddhav

■ Maha CM requests people not to hoard essential commoditie­s


Following the increase in the number of coronaviru­s patients in Maharashtr­a, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday hinted at a complete lockdown of all transport services. Addressing people via social media, Mr Thackeray urged people to avoid unnecessar­y travel. The chief minister also termed current initiative­s against the spread of Covid-19 as ‘war against Virus.’ He also spoke to the Prime Minister, who has ensured to provide all cooperatio­n from the Centre in this regard.

The chief minister on Thursday said, “Unnecessar­y travel is still happening. Crowding in local trains and buses have reduced but it has to stop completely. We don’t wish to take the drastic step of shutting down public transport. But nonessenti­al travel must stop.” He also appealed the people to not hide their travel history. “People are cooperatin­g with the government and if they continue

to cooperate, Maharashtr­a would overcome this challenge,” Mr Thackeray said.

He further requested people to not hoard essential commoditie­s, including food grains and medicines and strictly follow the instructio­ns given by the administra­tion.

“We have decided to reduce the number of employees at government, private offices. Don’t venture outside when it is not needed. Follow ‘work from home’ order wherever possible,”

he said. Mr Thackeray equated medical staff treating coronaviru­s patients to soldiers. “Like soldiers, the official machinery is dealing with the prevailing situation with firmness and they need your support,” he said, adding that the government is prepared to tackle the crisis. There are adequate medical staff, equipment and essential commoditie­s, he said.

Mr Thackeray also highlighte­d that the virus has come from other countries.

“When you arrive here and are self-quarantine­d, it is with trust that you are allowed to stay at home. But venturing out and spreading the virus is wrong,” he said.

The chief minister added he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the coronaviru­s situation and he had assured all cooperatio­n to the state. “I discussed with him the steps being taken by the state and the support required from the Centre,” he said.

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