Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana on Friday said a complete lockdown of Mumbai was required to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, and that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was taking steps in that direction.
The editorial comes a day after CM Thackeray urged the people of Maharashtra to maintain social distancing. However, Thackeray had said the government would not enforce a ban on public transport.
Rajesh Tope, Public Health Minister, had also said the government would consider a lockdown if crowds did not reduce.
According to the editorial, fifty per cent of the shops in Mumbai would remain closed. Further, some areas will remain closed on alternate days.
“Everyone should keep the example of China’s Wuhan in mind. There was a complete lockdown and the public transport system was stopped in the city to stop the people from leaving their homes. As a result, only one person tested positive for two consecutive days on Tuesday and Wednesday,” said the editorial, adding that this impact would have not been seen had there been a partial lockdown.
The editorial added, “… nationalism isn’t only saying ‘Jai Hind’, ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. Following government orders and co-operating to prevent such diseases from spreading is also nationalism,” it said.
It also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for keeping the Parliament session on. It claimed the move was to help topple the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh.
“While PM Modi has urged people to avoid crowds in New Delhi, he keeps Parliament running for political reasons. Thousands of MPs, officials and staff gather at Parliament…. It is not to maintain the great democratic tradition but to provide support to the game of toppling the government in Madhya Pradesh,” remarked the editorial.
“If Parliament is curtailed due to COVID-19, it will strengthen Kamal Nath’s stand. So, it is being talked that even if an emergency situation is created in Delhi, it is politically required to run Parliament,” it added.