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Places of worship in Maharashtra may open after diwali
November 8, 2020
Temples in Maharashtra – closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic – will re-open soon, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said Sunday, as he offered Diwali greetings to the state. He said SOPs to minimise transmission of the virus in places of worship could be released after Diwali, which falls on November 14.
The Chief Minister, who has been urged to sanction the re-opening of places of worship in the state, said he had held out because of the risk to senior citizens who visit them. Medical experts believe elderly people (those above 60) are at greater risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus.
When will temples open? They will open soon. After Diwali we will create SOPs for this. Elderly people visit temples and they are at risk (of contracting Covid). Therefore overcrowding needs to be avoided… be it temples, masjids or any other place,” Mr Thackeray said.
The Chief Minister said that although the SOPs would be released later, the wearing of face masks while visiting places of worship in the state would be compulsory.
“We are being careful and not re-opening temples as people will queue up. I am delaying reopening of temples to curb the spread of coronavirus. I am ready to face criticism and those critics will not come forward to take responsibility if virus infection increases,” Uddhav Thackeray said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, also urged the residents of his state to celebrate Diwali with simplicity and avoid bursting firecrackers to curb noise and air pollution.
While addressing the state, CM Thackeray said: “As there is a worry of second wave of coronavirus, I urge people in the state to celebrate Diwali with simplicity and take care so as to avoid spread of the virus.”
We controlled the rise of coronavirus infection due to slew of measures and support of people. But the virus spread is increasing in Delhi due to pollution, which may lead to viral pneumonia. So, while celebrating Diwali avoid bursting firecrackers, especially in public places, which may cause pollution. ”He said he will not impose a ban and requested people to show self-disciple and celebrate firecracker-free Diwali.
Whatever we have achieved (in controlling Covid-19) will go away in four days due to pollution caused by firecrackers,” Thackeray said.
No firecrackers in public places. I am not imposing a ban on crackers or an Emergency, but next 15 days after Diwali are still crucial,” he added.CM Uddhav Thackeray said the state government is reopening economic activities, but with caution. “If we have to impose lockdown again it will create further hardships,” he added.
While talking about COVID healthcare centres, CM Thackeray said the healthcare centres will not be closed for next six months even though the beds are vacant. “The ‘My Family, My Responsibility’ campaign has worked. More than 60,000 teams worked hard and they found 51,000 COVID-19 patients who were treated and discharged,” he added.
Maharashtra Chief Minister also lashed out at those who do not wear masks in public places. “I won’t tolerate this. Those moving without masks will be fined. One COVID-19 positive patient moving in public can infect 400 persons. So wearing mask is mandatory,” Thackeray said.
Uddhav Thackeray also said the state government is reopening schools for Class 9 to 12 with a lot of precautions.
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