However, he urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to relax restrictions such as the weekend lockdown.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Tuesday claimed that migrant workers were responsible for the sharp increase in coronavirus cases in the state, the Hindustan Times reported.
Thackeray claimed that a huge number of people coming to Maharashtra from other states were not being tested for the infection. “Covid-19 cases in the state are increasing due to these people,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “There is no tab on migrants coming and going and due to these people, Maharashtrians have to face the brunt in form of the lockdown and sit at home.”
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief said that when migrants went back to their native places during the countrywide lockdown last year, he had suggested that the government register them and test them upon their return to Maharashtra. “Both my suggestions were ignored,” he claimed.
Thackeray said that a huge number of migrant workers come to Maharashtra because of its industrial capacity, The Hindu reported. “While the second wave seems to be more terrible than the first, it does beg the question why only Maharashtra is experiencing such an alarming renascence.”
Thackeray noted that even though the farmers’ protest was continuing in North India and elections were taking place in West Bengal, the regions did not see a surge in cases like Maharashtra.
However, Thackeray urged Maharashtra Chief Minister and his cousin Uddhav Thackeray to relax restrictions such as the weekend lockdown, saying that it would adversely impact small traders.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief also hit out at the government for the purported shortage of hospital beds in Mumbai, according to The Hindu. “Despite the Mumbai civic body giving so many facilities to major hospitals, beds are not available for ordinary patients,” he claimed. “Commoners are forced to run from pillar to post to get a bed which is usually made available only through the intervention of local politicians.”
He urged the Maharashtra chief minister to take action against hospitals that deny beds to coronavirus patients, according to the Hindustan Times.
Maharashtra, the top contributor to India coronavirus surge, recorded 55,469 new cases and 297 deaths on Tuesday. Its overall count went up to 31,13,354, while the toll reached 56,330.
Mumbai alone reported 10,030 new coronavirus cases. The city recorded 31 deaths in a day – the highest since October-end.