COVID-19: Involve citizens in fight against coronavirus in Maharashtra, says Uddhav Thackeray

Updated: Jul 09, 2020, 17:35 IST | PTI | Mumbai

Uddhav Thackeray said that the civic administration should involve citizens also in the war against COVID-19

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said all cities in the state should set up 'corona vigilance committees',to involve participation of citizens in the fight against COVID-19 and help the local administration in monitoring the ground situation.

Speaking to commissioners of various municipal bodies in Thane district through video-conferencing, Thackeray said despite repeated directives for setting up jumbo facilities to fight COVID-19 in the district, the local administration did not function as per the expectations.

The Thane district adjoining Mumbai has seen a steep rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. "The war against COVID-19 cannot be fought by government alone, without the involvement of citizens. During the freedom movement, the determination to achieve independence got a boost due to the involvement of people. Recently, people on their own decided to boycott Chinese goods and sent across a message," he said.

Thackeray said the civic administration should involve citizens also in the war against COVID-19, he said. "Corona vigilance committees should be set up in cities. The war against COVID-19 is not the fight of government alone. Involve citizens, social service organisations, youth in the corona vigilance committees," the chief minister said.

"They can keep a watch on other ailments of senior citizens, their oxygen levels, cleanliness in their areas, ailments suffered by people in the neighbourhood, whether mandatory use of mask is being followed," he said. The committees can help the local administration in monitoring the ground situation, Thackeray said.

He said despite repeated directives for setting up jumbo facilities to fight COVID-19 in Thane, the local administration did not function as per the expectations. "The government focussed on creating jumbo COVID facilities since March. Just like the health infrastructure which has come up in Mumbai, similar facilities were expected in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR)," he said.

In the wake of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, each municipal corporation can still work on upgrading the health facilities, Thackeray said, adding that assistance of industrial houses and social organisations should be taken. He asked municipal commissioners to keep a vigil on the pandemic and safety protocols that need to be followed. He said a few municipal commissioners were transferred recently not because they were inefficient, but because quick steps were needed to check the virus which has been multiplying.

"Before we can do anything, we see the number of patients is increasing every day," he said. The government recently transferred municipal commissioners of Thane, Bhiwandi, and some other civic bodies. Till Wednesday, the Thane district reported 47,063 COVID-19 cases and 1,404 deaths due to the disease. 

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