Covid-19: Anand Mahindra urges govt to focus on health infrastructure, avoiding mortality

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 29, 2021

Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group   -  REUTERS

Cautions against lockdown, which would affect poor migrant workers, small businesses the most

Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra on Monday said a potential lockdown in Maharashtra will hurt poor, migrant workers and small businesses.

Mahindra was reacting to media reports that Maharashtra Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray has ordered the State administration to plan for a lockdown owing to a massive rise in Covid-19 cases.

The Mahindra Group Chairman, instead, urged the administration to focus on hospital/ health infrastructure and on avoiding mortality as a lockdown can negatively impact migrant workers and small businesses.

“The problem, @OfficeofUT ji, is that the people a lockdown hurts most are the poor, migrant workers & small businesses. The original lockdowns were essentially to buy time to build up hospital/ health infrastructure. Let’s focus on resurrecting that & on avoiding mortality,” Mahindra tweeted from his official account.

In view of a massive rise in Covid infections across Maharashtra, Thackeray, on Sunday ordered the State administration to plan for a lockdown as social distancing restrictions are not being followed, as per previous reports. The Maharashtra CM gave the orders at an emergency meeting of the state task force for the pandemic.

Mahindra further reiterated his plea urging the Centre to “permit Maharashtra to universalise the vaccination eligibility and allow the private sector to partner in the speedy roll-out of vaccinations.”

The Mahindra Group Chairman on multiple occasions has called for fully opening vaccine eligibility and widening vaccine distribution channels in the state owing to a high increase in cases.

Earlier this month Mahindra had called for emergency permission from the government to vaccinate all willing individuals against Covid-19 in Maharashtra owing to a sharp increase in cases, in a bid to reduce the economic impact of the same.

“Over half the new daily cases are in Maharashtra. The state is the nerve-centre of the country’s economic activity & more lockdowns will be debilitating. Maharashtra needs emergency permission to vaccinate EVERY willing person. No shortage of vaccines. @PMOIndia @drharshvardhan,” Mahindra had written from his Twitter account.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday said eight states, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh account for 84.5 per cent of the new cases reported. India recorded 68,020 new cases in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra reported the highest daily new cases at 40,414.

With India’s active caseload surpassing half a million at 5,21,808 today, five States, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh cumulatively account for 80.17 per cent of the total active cases in the country, the official release said.

India also reported 291 deaths in the last 24 hours. Seven States account for 81.79 per cent of the new deaths, with Maharashtra witnessing the maximum casualties at 108, it added.

Published on March 29, 2021

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