Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said wearing masks will be mandatory for the next six months in the state, the Hindustan Times reported.
In an address on social media, the chief minister said experts were in favour of imposing night curfew or another lockdown, but he did not want to impose such restrictions as the coronavirus situation in the state was under control, though not completely.
“Prevention is better than cure,” Thackeray said. “Wearing of mask at public places should be made a habit for another six months at least.”
Maharashtra logged 3,940 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, taking the state’s tally to 18,92,707. The toll rose to 48,648 with 74 fresh fatalities.
On large gatherings and weddings, Thackeray said that people need to be cautious that they invite people and not the virus, according to India Today. “While welcoming the New Year, we should be cautious,” he said. “The wedding season is also here. Invite guests, not the coronavirus.”
The chief minister also invited the Bharatiya Janata Party to hold discussions to solve the political deadlock over the Mumbai Metro car shed project. “Whenever there are projects are of the central government, we give land without any fuss,” he said. “If they oppose our projects, shall we also oppose projects like the bullet train project? This land doesn’t belong to the Centre or the state, it’s the people who own it. The Centre and the state should sit and sort it out.”
The Bombay High Court had on Wednesday put a stay on an order granting possession of a land in Mumbai’s Kanjurmarg area to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority for the metro rail project in the city. The Centre’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade had written to the Maharashtra government in November, instructing it to stop developing the car shed. The letter stated that the 102-acre land at Kanjurmarg under the salt commissioner, who reports to the department.
Thackeray said that many people were hoping that his government would fall, but the government not only completed its first year but also faced a difficult situation that the state may have faced in the last 100 years.