Mumbai: Notwithstanding the BJP stepping up its attack against the government, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday strongly conveyed two messages -- that the government's enhanced drive of testing is paying off and the relaxation of economic activities from April 20 in green and orange zone will help in partial revival of the economy.
The chief minister was, however, categorical that the railways, bus and air services will remain closed till May 3 and reiterated his appeal to the people to cooperate in the government's fight against the pandemic.
Thackeray, in his Facebook address, said the government will allow some industrial activity in orange and green zones, subject to restrictions and precautions.
Instructions have been given, he declared. ''So far, we had given permission only for industries in the essential sector and for transport of essentials.
We have told owners, that wherever possible, if you can take care of your employees and workers on your premises, we will supply grain; you will also get necessary raw material. Do your work,'' he stressed.
The CM said the government wants goods transported and not the virus. ''I do not want to take risks. I know it is tough to sit like this doing nothing. It is a punishment in itself. Take this as a duty,'' he pointed out.
He admitted there was a clamour for tests. ''Yes, we are testing and creating the infrastructure. By Saturday evening, 66,796 tests were conducted, and around 95% people have tested negative. There were 3,648 confirmed cases of which Mumbai alone has 2,268 coronavirus positive cases.
Around 300 to 350 are cured, have been discharged and allowed to leave for home. 70-75% have very mild symptoms or are asymptomatic,'' he explained. He admitted that around 52 patients were critical. ''I am learning from doctors that many times, they come to us in the last stage, which impedes our efforts.
It takes some time for results to come in, even though we test serious cases on priority,'' he said and appealed to the citizens not to ignore cold, fever and cough. Thackeray informed that PDS grain was being supplied to around 80-90% people. ''Those with saffron ration cards will get grain at subsidised rates soon. A decision has been taken by the State Government,'' he said.
Thackeray said people may feel uneasy, depressed, lonely and frustrated, after sitting at home for days during lockdown. He announced the launch of ''Samvaad,'' a counselling helpline (18001024040) to combat metal distress. Another helpline launched by the BMC is 1800120820050. Thackeray further said to curb domestic violence and crime against women, complaints can be made by dialling 100.