Anand Mahindra also urged the state government not to go for a lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus, as it would have an adverse effect on the economy.

A collage of Anand Mahindra and Kiran Mazumdar-ShawRepresentative image:PTI
Coronavirus Coronavirus Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - 10:29

As COVID-19 cases rise in Mumbai, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra has urged the Maharashtra government to apply for emergency permission to vaccinate the general population of the state in order to avoid another lockdown in Mumbai, which is considered the economic capital of India. He also urged the state government not to go for a lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus, as it would have an adverse effect on the economy.

Taking to Twitter, Anand Mahindra said, "Over half the new daily cases are in Maharashtra. The state is the nerve-centre of the country’s economic activity and more lockdowns will be debilitating. Maharashtra needs emergency permission to vaccinate EVERY willing person. No shortage of vaccines."

He was responding to a statement by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who earlier this week warned hotels, restaurants and malls to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure that the state government doesn't have to clamp another lockdown on its citizens to control the pandemic.

Backing Mahindra's statement, Executive Chairperson of Biocon Limited, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said, "Anand Mahindra has a suggestion as Maharashtra battles COVID-19 surge again - at last someone is saying what I have been pleading for since a month. To prevent a surge, we must vaccinate general population fast" 

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 surge in Mumbai through the month of March continued as 1,922 cases were reported on Tuesday, taking the total tally to 3.47 lakh. The figure is a shade below the 1,962 cases reported on March 14, which remains the highest daily addition so far for the month.

Since March 3, the metropolis has seen a daily addition in the 1,000 plus range, with the number of active cases soaring from 9,690 on March 1 to 15,263 on Tuesday, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials pointed out. Four deaths in the last 24 hours took the toll to 11,539, they added.

With 19,009 samples being examined in the last 24 hours, the number of tests in Mumbai went up to 35.74 lakh.

The average growth rate of cases per day has increased from 0.17% on February 18 to 0.42% now, while the case doubling time has shortened from 417 days to 165, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation data showed.

The rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country and the status of vaccination is also expected to figure in the meeting scheduled between Prime Minister Narendra Modi with all Chief Ministers on Wednesday.

The meeting, to be held in a virtual mode, is slated to begin at 12:30 pm, where Modi will take stock of the situation and assess the progress of the country's vaccination drive that began two months ago. Wednesday's meeting will be the first such interaction between the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers since the government launched the vaccination drive on January 16.

With IANS and PTI inputs

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