Thackeray referred to information provided by traders that there were thousands of workers in Mumbai and said infection with the virus is expected to increase due to the displacement of these workers. “If the government accepts your suggestions, then you will have to undertake the vaccination of these workers and employees of the establishments, they are family members. Don’t use the language of hitting the roads against the state government because it is not a fight against the government but against the virus, ”the CM said.

Further, Thackeray urged traders not to be provoked or become the victim of instigation by others. “Please recognize who is your friend and who is your enemy during the current crisis,” he said.

Public Health Department secretary Pradeep Vyas said that at the end of April the number of patients is likely to rise to 12 lakh.

State Covid task force member Dr Shashank Joshi said the new variant was spreading rapidly and was a double mutant. The new variant is quite risky for young people, he said. He reiterated the need to break the viral chain as a priority.

The Federation of Retail Trader Welfare Associations Viren Shah said Thackeray had assured to sympathize with their grievances and suggestions to ease the curbs. “The CM assured us of a decision within the next two to three days. The traders assured their cooperation in the efforts of the state government to combat the viral infection, ”he added.