Uddhav Thackeray blames Centre for Covid-19 spread in Maharashtra

Uddhav Thackeray blames Centre for Covid-19 spread in Maharashtra

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday indirectly blamed the Union government for spread of Covid-19 in the state. He also claimed that the flip-flops in implementing the lockdown has caused troubles to the migrant labourers.

"The testing done at international airports in the initial days were faulty," Thackeray told a Marathi daily Loksatta in a webinar interview. "Everyone takes paracetamol whenever they have fever. So screening international travellers only for fever was not enough. Our first patient had a travel history to Dubai. The list submitted initially by the Centre about checking international travellers did not include the US and Dubai," the CM said.

Thackeray said the state government started sending travellers into quarantine but by that time they had mingled with other people. He, however, maintained that he did not want to point fingers at the Centre.

The Maharashtra CM pointed that implementation of lockdown and migration of labourers cannot be allowed at the same time. "If the migrant labourers were allowed to return home before announcing the lockdown they would not have faced so much trouble."

Thackeray admitted that there is partial community spread. "There is no point in lying. But my biggest challenge is facing the monsoon now. I could not be over cautious but that should not be construed as negativity," the Shiv Sena chief said.

He said as per the Centre's prediction there should have been one and half lakh cases in Maharashtra by May end. "If we hadn't taken care, this prediction would have come true. Though numbers have increased, we are way behind the numbers."

Taking a dig at the Opposition BJP for criticising him, Thackeray said, "I am checking with the experts whether stomach ache is also a symptom of Covid-19."

Thackeray said the government is not in a favour of opening schools on June 15 like every year. "We are exploring ideas like online classes, classroom on TV. We don't want to start in a staggered way like some schools start in some parts and some later."