Calling the ongoing second wave of coronavirus infection destructive, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehot Friday called upon people to follow all COVID-19-related guidelines strictly and said the government is prepared to meet any challenge.

He said the government is concerned for the lives and livelihoods of people and that necessary steps have been taken to contain the spread of the virus.

He said the situation in Rajasthan is better than that in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Delhi, but the government will take more strict steps if required.

Gehlot said the pace of spread of COVID-19 infection is alarming and singled out election rallies for contributing to it.

“Limits were crossed in the elections. The judiciary also allowed the election to be held. We had opposed it but we were not listened to. The election commission had to do its duty and we also committed mistakes,” he said in a video message.

Gehlot said it started with Bihar elections where lakhs of people attended rallies.

“Now elections are being held in five states. You may have seen what is happening. Rallies were held during bypolls in Rajasthan also. To some extent, we are also responsible,” he acknowledged.

He said the government handled the pandemic with the support of all last year and it has its preparations in place this time also.

He said the government had to impose weekend curfew in view of the surge in the cases and if required, more steps will be taken.

The chief minister appealed to people to follow all guidelines and directions including the weekend curfew which started at 6 pm on Friday and will continue till 5 am on Monday. PTI SDA TIR TIR

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